Rick Rescorla & Neerja

Most of you must have heard about Neerja Bhanot by now. The movie Neerja has the true account of how brave she was in saving 359 lives during Pan Am Hijacking in Karachi, Pakistan en-route to New York in 1986 .  I did not watch the movie yet, but was digging more information about it, during that process, I got interested in watching the crash of World Trade Center towers. I never had much courage to stay still and watch or read through the story of 9/11 in entirety. I pass by this memorial site every day and yet till now, I could not get myself to be able to go visit the 9/11 memorial museum. It is too much for my weak heart to take it.

I was not even in the USA when this happened, but we were glued to TV watching with utter shock. I had never paid attention to much details of it back then and until now. Call it ignorance, rather, I had so much aversion to anything that comes under the category of news. Those worldly affairs never interested me, not in the least bit. As, I see the flights crashing those two buildings with 18 minutes apart and collapsing there after was hard to believe. Most of you probably know, there is another conspiracy theory which speaks about controlled demolition from within. Flights alone are not the prime reason. They were just timed right to collapse. Do you believe that point of view?

While I scour the world wide web for more information about 9/11 survivors, I came across this great hero Rick Rescorla who saved lives of 2,687 employees of Morgan Stanley , 250 visitors and atleast 1000 other’s from World trade center building. The foresight he has saved the lives of many, otherwise, the count of dead would not have been 3000 but 6000 plus if he hadn’t been there, with such preparation.

He was a director of security at the firm, and his foresight about WTC  prone to terrorist attack through air eventually came true. He mandated frequent fire drills un-unexpectedly, regularly until it became second nature to them, despite higher executives being annoyed. The goal was to get people safe out side the building in case of actual emergency. It did finally came true during 9/11. He took actions immediately, stayed calm, sang songs and made sure each of 38 floors occupied by Morgan Stanley employees were out of the building as planned. Only 13 employees including him were dead that day. He wanted to make sure not one person was left behind the building – yes, just not alone employees of the firm he was working for, he knew all other security personals in the building as well.

Every time, I read about him or watched a story or a statement about his got me tears. What a great personality? I am touched beyond and wonder what a great convictions he has. He is one of the few heroes. The aspect that he predicted that this will happen almost a decade ago and the fire drills were conducted so regularly until it became second nature. He took his job very seriously and strongly believed in it. It also leaves us with a knowledge that – be prepared and the opportunity shall arise.

Neerja or Rick – they had same convictions, righteousness and most importantly bravery to put people first over their lives.


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