The Man in the Red Bandanna – 15th Anniversary of 9/11

Among the approximately 3,000 people killed and 6,000 wounded as a result of the terrorist attacks 15 years ago on September 11th were many people associated with the lacrosse community. That group included someone who came to be known as the Man in the Red Bandanna.

Welles Crowther, who played collegiate lacrosse at Boston College, was an equities trader for Sandler O’Neill and worked in a 104th-floor office in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Risking and ultimately sacrificing his life, Crowther is credited with saving at least a dozen lives after the building was struck.

His story is a touching one to be sure and has been featured elsewhere many times (e.g., a New York Daily News story on a 10th anniversary tribute). ESPN did a piece previously and this morning dedicated their “The Sporting Life” radio program to him. Interviewed at length was ESPN/ABC reporter Tom Rinaldi, who has a just published book about Crowther entitled The Red Bandanna: A Life, A Choice, A Legacy (here’s the Amazon link).

You’ll also find additional information about Welles along with references on his Wikipedia page.

During the May 2014 dedication of the museum at the National 9/11 Memorial, President Obama noted Crowther’s heroism, saying “They didn’t know his name. They didn’t know where he came from. But they knew their lives had been saved by the man in the red bandana. He called for fire extinguishers to fight back the flames. He tended to the wounded. He led those survivors down the stairs to safety and carried a woman on his shoulders down 17 flights. Then he went back. Back up all those flights. Then back down again, bringing more wounded to safety. Until that moment when the tower fell.”

There were numerous heroes 15 years ago, and Welles was but one. But one who reminds us of the victims, the survivors, the first responders, and the thousands of family members and friends affected by the tragedies that day.


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