The Man in the Red Bandana- Remembering 9/11

While at the gym Sunday morning, sportscenter was on one of the TVs.  After a commercial break, a segment came on that had also been on Outside The Lines about Welles Crowther.  Crowther grew up in upstate NY and from a young age, carried a red bandana.  He also played Lacrosse and Ice Hockey with a bandana under his helmets.  He went on to play lacrosse at Boston College and graduated in 1999.  He moved to NYC and took an equities job with  his office on the 104th floor of  WTC- the South Tower.  On 9/11, he was already at work when the American Airlines plane hit the North Tower at 8:46 AM.  He left a message for his mom and started heading down the stairs of the South Tower.  When the South Tower was hit at 9:02 AM, he began leading people down 17 flights of stairs from the 78th floor to safety.  After dropping a group of people off to firefighters, he went back up to the 78th floor to help injured workers.  He brought another group of people down and made at least one more trip up to help people before the South Tower collapsed.

The South Tower, though second to be hit, was the first to collapse.  Welles Crowther’s body was found 6 months later in the body of the WTC south building lobby with firefighters with his trademark red bandana.  Shortly before the 9/11 attack, Welles had told his parents he couldn’t imagine sitting in front of a computer screen all day.  He wanted to become a member of NYFD.  Even as a teenager, he had been a member of his town’s fire department as a Junior Fireman.  His parents began looking for people they he had helped on 9/11 for confirmation he had helped them.  In an article published after his body was found, a survivor had mentioned a man with a red bandana helping people in the south tower.  For his family, a sense of relief he was doing what he loved.  He is thought to have saved 12 people.  In 2006, NYFD made him a firefighter posthumously.  At BC, there is an annual red bandana 5K run in his honor and in the Nyack FD, there’s a picture of him by the exit so he’s the last person the FD sees before they leave.

It’s been 10 years since 9/11 and as we remember those who were lost, those who are serving our country overseas, and those who survived the terrorist attacks, take a moment and think about what you would have done if you were Welles. As the video asks, what would you do with the last hour of your life?  Take a minute and watch the video.  It’s well worth the 13 minutes and 30 seconds .

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About drrunner
6 time marathoner, 40 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. New title of BibRave Pro member so watch for discounts and products! Do what you love and love what you do!

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