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Homeland Security

Secretary Napolitano Presents the DHS Distinguished Public Service Medal Posthumously to Richard Rescorla

Release Date: 
September 21, 2011

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

NEW YORK CITY—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to New York City and honored the memory of Richard Rescorla with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Department's highest honor, for his heroic actions on September 11, 2001.

"Since the 9/11 attacks, we have seen exceptional models of resilience all around us," said Secretary Napolitano. "By honoring Richard Rescorla with the Distinguished Public Service medal, we remember his heroism and commitment to the preparedness of the thousands of employees under his watch."

On September 11, 2011, Richard Rescorla was Second Vice President for Security at Morgan Stanley headquarters located in World Trade Center Tower 2. Richard led a massive evacuation of Morgan Stanley's 2,700-person workforce located in the South Tower, contributing to the survival of many of his coworkers.

During her remarks, Secretary Napolitano announced that DHS will create the National Resilience Award inspired by the actions and resilience of Richard Rescorla. This award will be the Department's first national award on resilience, which recognizes superior leadership and innovation with a focus on effective preparation, response, and recovery in the face of disasters. It will be presented annually beginning next year.

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