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A day to be proud


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a-day-to-be-proud-7.phpPower Line:

Scott Johnson

Sept. 11 2016

I first wrote about Rick Rescorla in 2003 after finishing James Stewart’s Heart of a Soldier, the book based on Stewart’s New Yorker article “The real heroes are dead.” (“The real heroes are dead” is what Rescorla would say in response to recognition of his heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam.) It’s a good book that touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, love and friendship, heroism and sacrifice, destiny and fate, man’s search for meaning, all fall within the book’s compass.


Rescorla was a British native who moved to the United States to join the Army and fight the Communists in Vietnam. Rescorla was inspired to move to the United States in part by his friendship with Dan Hill. Their friendship is the one constant theme of the book. Hill and Rescorla had become friends in Rhodesia; they consciously modeled themselves on the characters of Peachy and Dravot in Kipling’s story “The Man Who Would Be King.” Later they both served as officers in Vietnam, where in 1965 Rescorla saw harrowing combat in the Ia Drang Valley.




UPDATE 9/11/2011: The San Francisco Opera debuted Heart of a Soldier, an opera composed by Christopher Theofanidis to a libretto by Donna DiNovelli, based on Stewart’s book. Cori Ellison provided a preview in the New York Times article “Opera recalls a hero’s life, love and song.”


The Daily Mail recounted Rescorla’s story in an article full of good photos.


One final note. Please spend a few minutes with the video below.


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