A Man for All Seasons

LZ Albany

LZ Albany

Yesterday, I commented that I have doubts in America’s leadership these days. That’s true, but many of us did in the sixties as well. But then, as now, we had heroes. Some of them remain in our hearts, even more than the others. This article also from five years ago, tells of one of mine.

There were plenty of heroes on 9/11. Fire and police and port authority all going in. Passengers counterattacking on Flight 93 and various civilians and military in New York and the Pentagon. Even what the military calls NCA, the National Command Authority.


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!


But the one that is my especial hero of the day; is my hero because of how he lived his life.

A British NCO from Cornwall who served in the Parachute Regiment, immigrated to the US, served as Platoon Leader, B Co 2/7 Cavalry in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the battle of Ia Drang, where he gave the British commands of ‘Fix Bayonets, On Line, Ready forward’. His picture is on the cover of ‘We Were Soldiers’. It is a praiseworthy story prompting us to Remember ,

but it doesn’t end there.

On 9/11 he was vice-president in charge of security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. We all know what happened that day, but do we remember that only six Morgan Stanley employees died when their building was obliterated. One them was this man, now a retired Colonel, who stayed to make sure he got his people out. In all those situations, he was singing an old song commemorating the resistance of the Cornish against the British, and Roark’s Drift in the Boer War, and other engagements. That song is:


Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can’t you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors’ pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!

That man was Colonel Rick Rescorla and he is a legend in the 7th Cavalry. He is not a man any of us should ever forget. A real life Sagaman, who lived quietly amongst us.

From Shakespeare:

“His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world ‘This was a man!’”

The tragedy of 911 was this; multiplied by three thousand.

Never forget.

After having reached safety, Rescorla returned to the building to rescue others still inside. He was last seen heading up the stairs of the tenth floor of the collapsing WTC 2. His remains have not been recovered. He left a wife and two children.

He is my hero not least because he fulfilled to the last breath the leadership credo that the Air Force taught me and so many others:

First: The Mission

Always: the People

Last: Yourself

And thus, on this September 12th the story of how the people of a great American financial institution were rescued by the 7th U.S. Cavalry (Custer’s Own).

If we are to live up to the heritage that men like Colonel Rescorla have left us, I think our motto must be:

At football, golf, and polo you men have made your name

But now your country calls you to play your part in war

And no matter what befalls you

We shall love you all the more

So come and join the forces as your fathers did before

From: Oh! What a Lovely War


About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

12 Responses to A Man for All Seasons

  1. JessicaHof says:

    Another good one – but try as I might, I can’t manage to get gmail working – will hopefully be better tomorrow. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:


      So I was told, and that his doesn’t either. No problem, of course. Tomorrow it is! 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • JessicaHof says:

        Grr – it is down again!

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Grrrr!!! Indeed! Well I shall stand by, I guess. 😐


        • JessicaHof says:

          The problem is a severe one – don’t understand that the engineer told us, but the server and Google are not talking to each other – they are sending someone, but he can’t come until Mondayc – which is grrrr x infinity. xx

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Indeed, C just told me. Grrr, it really is. As I said to him, my only backup is that you can text to my Skype number, I suppose. Maybe they’re smart and underpromise and overperform, but that’s rare in IT.

          Miss you, and such dearest friend. 😐 xxx


  2. the unit says:

    How interesting! Yes, truly a man for all seasons! I’ve read quite a bit on the battle of la Drang Valley. Never hit on an article about him there or what he did on 9/11/01.
    It was November of ’65 and that battle when I knew we were at war. I decided it was time to join the Navy. Went on active duty in April of ’66. No stories to tell, just did what I was told to do.
    Thanks for the information in this blogtoday on Rick Rescorla.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Very welcome. I haven’t many heroes, but he’s one of them.


  3. bydesign001 says:

    Excellent post. Re-blogged at Grumpy Opinions, http://grumpyelder.com/2016/09/13/a-man-for-all-seasons/

    Pray all is well with you, Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Thank you!


    • NEO says:

      Sorry, Denise, missed the last part of your comment earlier. Yes, all is pretty good here, just plugging along. Hope you’re doing well, as well. 🙂


  4. “If we are to live up to the heritage that men like Colonel Rescorla have left us, I think our motto must be…..So come and join the forces as your fathers did before”

    And did you do this?


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