Welles Crowther saved as many as 18 lives on the day of our nation’s greatest tragedy, and on October 7th, his alma-mater will pay tribute to him. He’s become known as “the man in the red bandana,” but to the people who’s lives he saved on that day, he’s a savior.
Only 24 years old at the time, Crowther was an equities trader for Sandler O’Neil and Partners which was located on the 104th floor of the South Tower. When the first plane struck, he calmly called his mother and left her a message, letting her know he was okay, and began to make his way out down the building.
On his way out, he would encounter others in the building who were waiting to be rescued; they were waiting for Crowther.
Leading groups of people out of the tower, carrying some on his back, Crowther made several trips back into the tower when others were trying desperately to flee in the other direction. Eventually, to shield himself from the thick smoke that filled the compromised building, Crowther covered his mouth with a red bandana that had been given to him by his father when he was only six years old.
It was a link between father and son, and it has become a part of his legacy and lore.
Welles Crowther’s body would be discovered beneath the rubble on March 19th, 2002, along with the remains of several members of the FDNY at a command post in the South Tower lobby.
Friday, Boston College will do their bit to honor someone who paid the ultimate price so that others may continue living.
Tom Rinaldi recently published a book detailing the life of Welles Crowther. The book has been a New York Times best seller since hitting the shelves.