In remembrance of the man in the red bandana

The calm before the storm.

The calm before the storm.

Jacob Reiter, Staff Writer

September 11th, 2001, one of the days that changed America forever. It was just like any other morning until the first plane crashed into the first tower, people in the streets and those who would later watch on television were terrified. Although I was born after the tragedy I still appreciate the actions of a single man. The man in the red bandana, who was later identified as Welles Crowther.

Crowther worked on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center as an equities trader. When the first plane hit below his floor his mother later said that “He called me and said, ‘Mom this is Welles, I want you to know that I am OK’ and that was the last time I ever heard his voice.” While making his way down the stairs he used the red bandana that his father gave him when he was young and always kept in his pocket to prevent himself from inhaling too much smoke. He encountered a group of people on the 78th floor, some of whom were injured. He escorted them down the stairs and out of the building. After looking back at the building and the destruction that had been caused according to emergency response personnel he rushed back in and brought back several more groups of people one after another. This continued until the first tower collapsed with him inside, killing him. Crowther was 24 when he lost his life and it was confirmed that he saved 18 people and he likely saved many more than that.

After hearing his story when I was very young I have kept a red bandana on me on every anniversary of the attacks to honor his memory. Those who work in the fire station near the memorial also wear a red bandana in remembrance. Additionally, he is credited in the 9/11 memorial, had a documentary made about his actions in 2017, and his bandana is displayed in a local museum