Washington: GLUED to the TV in horror, Susan Rescorla frantically scanned the screen for her husband Rick as the World Trade Center building he worked in crumbled.
“If something happens to me, I want you to know that you made my life,” security guard Rick told her before the phone went dead. They were his last words.
Exactly 15 years ago today Rick, originally from Hayle in Cornwall, was one of almost 3,000 people to die after planes hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists ploughed into New York’s Twin Towers — first the North Tower then the South.
Now, in her first interview with a British newspaper, Susan tells the full story of how her husband died a hero, evacuating his colleagues from the South Tower to safety.
Susan, 74, said: “For those of us who lost loved ones or survived the terrorist attacks, life will never be the same. Every time there’s another terrorist attack or IS carries out a beheading, I cannot stop crying.”
Rick, the security chief at financial giant Morgan Stanley, is known as the man who predicted 9/11. The 62-year-old is also credited with saving the lives of almost 2,700 people.
Rick, a former US army officer, told his bosses the World Trade Center’s underground car park was a terrorist target three years before a truck bomb exploded there in 1993. He later warned that planes could hit the complex and urged the company to move.
When his recommendations were ignored, Rick devised an evacuation plan he put into action moments after a plane hit the North Tower. On September 11, 2001, Rick got up at 4.30am as usual. Susan heard him singing a Cornish folk song as he got dressed. “He was always singing,” she said, smiling as she recalled helping him choose a red silk tie to go with his grey suit.