President Donald Trump on Thursday awarded a posthumous Presidential Citizens Medal to the family of retired Army Col. Rick Rescorla, a Vietnam veteran credited with saving thousands of lives on 9/11.
The Presidential Citizens Medal is the second-highest civilian award after the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
"On behalf of the entire nation, I pledge we will forever and ever memorialize this American hero," the president said.
The U.K.- born Rescorla worked as the director of security for Morgan Stanley, which had its headquarters in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Following the 1993 bomb attack on the Trade Center, Rescorla designed and implemented evacuation drills to prepare employees for another attack, the news outlet reported.
After the first plane hit the towers on 9/11, Rescorla ordered Morgan Stanley employees to get out of the South Tower and ignore building announcements telling people to stay at their desks.
Rescorla was last seen climbing up the stairs on the 10th floor of the South Tower. He is credited with saving nearly 2,700 people that day, the news outlet reported. He was 62 when he died.
"Of all the accolades . . . and all the people along the journey who have touched my life, each is so memorable because I was able to learn more about this incredible man than I had during our short time while he was here on earth," his wife Susan said.
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