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Welles Crowther worked on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The former lacrosse standout at Nyack High School (NY) and Boston College was among the nearly 3,000 who died that day, but his heroism during the terrorist attacks will be long remembered.

Welles Crowther Known as “The Man in Red Bandanna,” Welles, at age 16, joined Empire Hook & Ladder Co., No. 1 in Upper Nyack as a junior member. He then completed state training and became a full member of the company at age 18.

Welles’ final hour on 9/11 remained a mystery until a 2002 article in The New York Times described eyewitness reports of the heroics of a mysterious man in a red bandanna who appeared “out of nowhere,” stripped to his T-shirt, and, with the bandanna covering his nose and mouth to protect against smoke and debris, led approximately a dozen people to safety at the cost of his own life. He was 24.

With the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, what better time to remember a man who ran toward danger instead of away from it in order to save those lives.

“Most people would have run for their lives, but he started running for everyone else’s,” writes Peggy Noonan in a column in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal.

To read the Wall Street Journal story, click here.

red bandanna


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