The Day Before

This is an updated version of an article I posted on September 10, 2008:

Today is September 10, 2018. Seventeen years ago, it was the day before. We were all going about our business, enjoying a beautiful fall, and making plans for the future. I wonder, if we could have seen into the future, is there anything we would have done differently that day.

There was one man who was living in a different world than the rest of us–even on September 10. His name was Rick Rescorla. He was the vice president for security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, a brokerage house with 2,700 employees in the World Trade Center in the south tower on floors forty-four through seventy-four and 1,000 employees in Building Five across the plaza. Because of the foresight of this man, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter lost only six employees in the bombing of the World Trade Center. His story is told on his website, RickRescorla.com.

Rick felt strongly that the terrorists who had attempted the first World Trade Center bombing would try again. He asked his company executives to move from the towers, but the company’s lease went until 2006. Rick held evacuation drills on a regular basis in spite of the grumbling of his fellow employees. Every few months all 2,700 employees would march down the stairs and out of the building in an evacuation drill. On September 11, 2001, by the time the second airplane hit the second tower, most of the company’s employees were already out of the building. There were three employees missing, and Rick and two other people went back into the building to find them.   All six were killed when the building collapsed.¹

I tell this story today for two reasons. First, Rick Rescorla is a hero whose foresight saved many lives. Second, Rick Rescorla understood that there were terrorists who wanted to destroy America even before there was a “war on terror”. We need to think back to September 10, 2001, and remember what our innocence was like and the price we paid for it. Thank God for a man who chose not to be innocent.

  1. Most of the information in the above two paragraphs is from the book BREAKDOWN by Bill Gertz (subtitled “How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 11”).

The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost

Even though the November election is seven months away, this is the election season. One of the goals of the Democrat party during this season is to convince Americans that ObamaCare is a good thing and that we like it. So far that effort is not going particularly well. Based on some numbers posted by Forbes Magazine, it is about to get worse.

Yesterday Forbes Magazine posted an article with the following headline:

Health Plan Premiums Are Skyrocketing According To New Survey Of 148 Insurance Brokers, With Delaware Up 100%, California 53%, Florida 37%, Pennsylvania 28%

Democrats may be okay with those numbers, but to a lot of Americans, those numbers represent one more broken promise in ObamaCare.

The article reports:

Health insurance premiums are showing the sharpest increases perhaps ever according to a survey of brokers who sell coverage in the individual and small group market. Morgan Stanley’s healthcare analysts conducted the proprietary survey of 148 brokers. The April survey shows the largest acceleration in small and individual group rates in any of the 12 prior quarterly periods when it has been conducted.

The average increases are in excess of 11% in the small group market and 12% in the individual market. Some state show increases 10 to 50 times that amount. The analysts conclude that the “increases are largely due to changes under the ACA.”

Not only has ObamaCare wrecked the American healthcare system, it has spent massive amounts of money to do so and has placed enormous financial burdens on Americans trying to purchase the required healthcare. It is truly time for ObamaCare to go away.

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We Remember September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

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We were young and naïve. We were like children who trust and believe that the world is a safe place. We hadn’t yet grasped the fact that there were people in the world who meant to harm us. But among us were those who were not naïve.  Men who understood the threat and tried to warn us and prepare us for what they suspected was coming.  One of those men was Rick Rescorla. Rick Rescorla died on September 11, 2001, when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today reminding us of the accomplishments of Rick Rescorla.

Scott Johnson reports:

I first wrote about Rick Rescorla in 2003 after finishing James Stewart’s Heart of a Soldier, the book based on Stewart’s New Yorker article “The real heroes are dead.” (“The real heroes are dead” is what Rescorla would say in response to recognition of his heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam.) The book is good, not great, but it touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, love and friendship, heroism and sacrifice, destiny and fate, man’s search for meaning, all fall within the book’s compass.

On September 11, 2001, Rick Rescorla was working for Morgan Stanley in the south tower of the World Trade Center. He was head of security for the company and had routinely conducted evacuation drills. On September 11, he led the employees down the tower’s one usable fire escape to safety. He was killed when he went back into the tower looking for stragglers.

We need to learn the lesson of September 11. Even when things are peaceful, we need to be aware of the events and people around us. We need to understand that the world is not always welcoming to the principles of freedom and democracy. We need to remember the heroes of that day—there were many—some we know about and some we don’t know about. We honor those heroes by moving forward with the lessons we learned on September 11, 2001.

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