That night, my eyes and lungs still stinging, I walked up the Great White Way. It’s a section of road to which all others like it are measured, one which has made audiences laugh and cry for over a century. Tonight it was dark, but many of us came anyway, unsure what to do or say.
Morgan Stanley officials say Rescorla also told employees that “today is a day to be proud to be American” and that “tomorrow, the whole world will be talking about you.” They say he also sang “God Bless America” and Cornish folk tunes in the stairwells. Those reports could not be confirmed, although they don’t sound out of character. He liked to sing in a crisis. But the documented truth is impressive enough. Morgan Stanley managing director Bob Sloss was the only employee who didn’t evacuate the 66th floor after the first plane hit, pausing to call his family and several underlings, even taking a call from a Bloomberg News reporter. Then the second plane hit, and his office walls cracked, and he felt the tower wagging like a dog’s tail. He clambered down to the 10th floor, and there was Rescorla, sweating through his suit in the heat, telling people they were almost out, making no move to leave himself.
September 11, 2001 dawned for me like many had that summer, sunny and warm. I was out of work for nearly a year, working a 4 hour per day temp job at the time. About 9 or so my boss came in and asked if I had a news station on my radio in the bookkeeping office. His daughter had called and said that a plane had hit a skyscraper in Manhattan. I turned the radio to WHAM, the local 50,000 watt Clear Channel talk station and sat in horror for the next three hours. I suppose I did something that morning, but I have no recollection. I called my wife at work and told her, and told her that I would be going straight to the ambulance base after work. If anything came up, Iâ€™d call her.