The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 have already generated numerous tributes in the last few days, with more to follow through the weekend. I’ll throw in my two cents in Sunday’s column.
In the meantime, I think there is one song that sums up the strength and defiance of Americans as well as free people around the world who endured that terrible day of crisis and continue to stand up against the tyranny of evil.
It’s not an American song; it’s Welsh, but it more than fits the occasion.
Called “Men of Harlech,” it was sung by Cyril Richard “Rick” Rescorla, one of the true heroes of 9/11.
Rescorla was born in Cornwall, England, and came to the U.S. as a child. He served in the U.S. army and fought in the Vietnam War, earning the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
His life is so amazing that a book could be written about it. In fact, a book was written about him called, “Heart of a Soldier” by James Stewart, which I recommend. Indeed, the story of Rescorla as related by Stewart is now being turned into an opera.
On 9/11, Rescorla was employed at the World Trade Center as the security chief for Morgan Stanley and Dean Witter. He died in the attacks after supervising the evacuation of hundreds of workers. Using a bullhorn, he kept people calm by singing “God Bless America” and other songs, including “Men of Harlech.”
One verse goes like this:
We’ll not die, be conquered never
Harlech, Harlech, lives forever
Freedoms’ from the greatest giver
Freedom is our good.
See how Welshmen shouting run down
from the moutains they do come down
Like a storm that strikes at sun down
boil up like a flood.
Listen to the song by clicking on Harlech.