Men of Harlech - A Song of Encouragement

Rick Rescorla tried to keep his colleagues calm, as they were leaving the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

It wasn’t easy to quickly and efficiently evacuate nearly 2700 people who worked for Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley, but these individuals had been through it before. When there was no threat against them, Rescorla made them practice, and practice, and practice an evacuation process.

On the day when all of them faced death, they carried-out what they had been trained to do.

One thing the man from Cornwall did, to encourage his colleagues despite their fear, was to sing to them. In his booming baritone, he sang his version of “Men of Harlech.” It included these words:

Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming,
Can’t you see their spear points 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!

Evacuating his colleagues, while ignoring a Port-Authority message for everyone in the South Tower to stay at their desks, Rescorla was systematically moving everyone to safety. On the morning before their tower was struck, by a second hijacked plane, most of the Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley employees lived because of what Rescorla did.

In this clip, we can actually hear the song Rescorla was singing. This rendition is by the Royal Regiment of Wales' Band, performing "Men of Harlech" on the 120th anniversary of the Battle of Rorke's Drift. The rendition was recorded in the church at Rorke's Drift.

This music first appeared as "March of the Men of Harlech" in Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards (Edward Jones, London 1784). The version of the song referencing men of Cornwall, which Rescorla sang, was used in the movie "Zulu" (1964).

Thanks to Rick Rescorla, nearly all of the Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley employees safely left the South Tower before it collapsed. It was “nearly all” because there were a handful of people who needed more help to leave, and Rescorla went back into the building to get them.

Rescorla, and those additional few whom he had tried to help, died in the tower when it collapsed on them.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 18, 2014

Updated Last Revision: Sep 13, 2017

Media Credits

Video clip online, via YouTube.


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"Men of Harlech - A Song of Encouragement" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 18, 2014. Dec 10, 2019.
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