September 11, 2001, is a day many of us will never forget. Now, 19 years later we still hear and remember the stories of the brave people who worked to help the injured and trapped while saving countless others.
We want to thank those who sacrificed their lives on that day and honor those who are still with us today. The stories below are each unique but are all the stories of heroes from that day.
Rick Rescorla - Vietnam War Veteran
After already serving in the U.S. Army and receiving the Silver Star and Purple Heart, Veteran Rick Rescorla was working as the head of Security for Morgan Stanley during the 1993 attack on the Twin Towers and the attack on 9/11. Originally serving in the British army before his time in Vietnam, Cornish and Welsh battle songs stuck with him throughout his life. Just like he did in the U.S. Army as Rescorla led people down the stairs he was singing those same Cornish tunes.
His actions on that fateful day led to approximately 2,700 lives being saved. Rick is just one of the many that sacrificed their lives for others on September 11, 2001. In 2019 Col. Rescorla was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service. To read the full story visit Military.com.
Benjamin Clark - Chef
Always ready to lend a helping hand, former U.S. Marine Benjamin Clark was a Chef who was preparing meals for people at the Fiduciary Trust Company when suddenly he was helping evacuate the offices on the 96th floor of the South Tower. As he was leading everyone to safety he helped a woman in a wheelchair on the 76th floor. He saved countless lives that day but never returned home to his family. Earlier that morning his son had informed him not to go to work because he had a bad feeling, but Benjamin went on.
Each year his mother hangs a banner honoring her son and the sacrifice he made. Over a thousand people attended his memorial service, some of whom he saved others were loved ones whom he left behind that day. His sacrifice will be remembered for many years to come. Read Benjamin’s full story at thedailybeast.com.
Betty Ong & Madeline Amy Sweeney - Flight Attendants
Many of you may know their story. Betty Ong and Amy Sweeney were on American Airlines Flight 11 when it was hijacked and headed for the North Tower. The two flight attendants were ushered to the back of the plane with many of the other passengers, where they calmly called their coworkers to provide information on what was happening. Because of the information provided by these two brave women, FBI agents knew the names and addresses of the three hijackers on that plane.
Unfortunately, Amy and Betty did not make it. A short time later their plane crashed into the North tower, but the information they provided was pivotal for discovering what happened that day. To read more on their story visit buisnessinsider.com.
Dominick Pezzulo - Police Officer
Just like many other police officers who rushed to the scene that day Officer Pezzulo didn’t know if he would make it home. But he still wasted no time in rescuing people trapped inside the World Trade Center. After the first collapse of the South Tower Officer Pezzulo and two others survived but he was soon after struck by debris. Before he died he fired a shot into the air alerting responders of his friends’ location so they could be rescued.
Officer Dominick Pezzulo saved more than just his friends that day he saved countless lives while risking his own and ultimately leaving behind his wife and two children. Read his full story on odmp.org.
Jason Thomas & Dave Karnes - Marines
Before September 11, 2001 these two former Marines didn’t know each other, but when they heard about the events unfolding they both slipped into their old uniforms and headed to the scene. Upon arriving they found each other and began searching the debris for survivors. Scouring the area with other responders they came upon two police officers buried under the rubble. Sending for help eventually the two officers were rescued. After both officers were pulled from the rubble the two Marines left but both returned for over a week to help.
Karnes, after returning home re-enlisted and served two tours in Iraq. These men had no obligation to help that day but didn’t have a second thought about rushing into action when they were needed to continue serving their country. Read more about their story on businessinsider.com.
Beau Doboszenski - Pentagon Tour Guide
Former U.S. Army Specialist Beau Soboszenski was working as a tour guide at the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 hit. Being a former volunteer firefighter and trained EMT he sprang into action, rushing towards the crash site only to be blocked by police. He eventually bypassed the barricades and provided aid to victims at a triage tent nearby, only to later join a team that went into the flaming building for survivors. Fear was not in his vocabulary that day, all Doboszenski knew was he had the skills to help and needed to do just that.
His actions saved numerous lives, he was in the right place at the right time that day. To read the full story visit businessinsider.com.
Welles Crowther - Equities Trader
Welles Crowther, more commonly known as “the man in the red bandana” to those on the 78th floor. At the time he was an equities trader on the 104th floor, when the United Airlines flight 175 hit the South Tower he put his volunteer firefighter training to action. Helping people to safety and carrying an injured woman he saved over a dozen people. With all of the debris and smoke he was only able to be seen by the red bandana he used to cover his mouth and nose from the smoke.
Crowther didn’t make it home that day, his remains were found in a stairwell with firefighters who were all headed back up to help others. To read the full story visit businessinsider.com.
Keith Roma - NYFP
The New York Fire Patrol had worked closely with the Fire Department of New York for many years so on 9/11 it was a given that NYFP would be there to help too. Kieth Roma had worked for the NYFP for many years just as his father did. Once on the scene, Roma helped evacuate people from Tower 1. In route to the scene he had called his father, who also grabbed his gear and headed to the towers to help. Roma never saw his father and his body wasn’t found til Christmas Eve.
While Roma was given a FDNY funeral he is not counted among those who died. He was the only NYFD member to give up his life that day after saving over 200 people. Read Roma’s full story at firerescue1.com.
4 Strangers - Flight 93 Passengers
Passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 didn’t know what was in store for them when they boarded their plane that morning. After a pilot and a flight attendant were killed the remaining passengers huddled in the back of the plane and began calling their loved ones. A few of them decided to put a plan together and do something. Four men led the take over, rushing the cockpit they were able to stop the plane from hitting its target and instead it crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
No passengers survived the crash but the action of those four men saved the lives of thousands more. Read more about their story on businessinsider.com.
Many people risked their lives that day to save and help people. Some lived to tell about the horrors they witnessed others sacrificed their lives. We want to say thank you to everyone who was there and made a sacrifice that day. Today, we remember the events that transpired and the heroes from that day. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York is a place that honors the sacrifices of everyone from that day, for more information about the museum and memorial visit their website 911memorial.org.