Viral: ‘Man in red bandanna’ Was a 9/11 Hero Who Died Saving Others

By Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
April 28, 2016 Updated: April 28, 2016

When Welles Remy Crowther was a young boy, his father Jefferson told him to always carry a red bandana.

The white handkerchief would be “just for show”–the red one is what he should use to blow his nose.

The red bandana, though, quickly became Welles’ signature accessory. 

“He loved that red bandana, and he always had it with him,” Jefferson recalled.

(Screenshot/YouTube)
(Screenshot/YouTube)

 

As Welles grew older, he volunteered at a local firehouse, then went on to attend Boston College, where he played Division 1 lacrosse.

Wherever he went, Welles wore the red bandana, often on his head under a helmet.

Welles ultimately became an equities trader in New York City, and worked from the 10th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. He was there on 9/11.

(Screenshot/YouTube)
(Screenshot/YouTube)

 

Right after the terrorist attack, Welles called his mom.

“Mom, this is Welles. I want you to know that I’m okay,” he said. But those were the last words Allison Crowther would hear him speak.

Soon, both Jefferson and Allison knew the nightmare had happened–their son had died.

(Screenshot/YouTube)
(Screenshot/YouTube)

 

But they didn’t know at the time that he was a hero who had saved the lives of at least a dozen others.

Several months later, they read a New York Times article and saw the words “red handkerchief.”

“A mysterious man appeared at one point, his mouth and nose covered with a red handkerchief. He was looking for a fire extinguisher. As Judy Wein recalls, he pointed to the stairs and made an announcement that saved lives: Anyone who can walk, get up and walk now. Anyone who can perhaps help others, find someone who needs help and then head down,” the article said.

(Screenshot/YouTube)
(Screenshot/YouTube)

 

“A few minutes behind this group was Ling Young, who also survived the impact in the sky lobby. She, too, said she had been steered by the man in the red bandana, hearing him call out: This way to the stairs.'”

According to survivors, Welles continually risked his life to save others. One was Judy Wein.

“If he hadn’t come back, I wouldn’t have made it,” she told CNN.

(Screenshot/YouTube)
(Screenshot/YouTube)

 

“People can live 100 years and not have the compassion, the wherewithal, to do what he did.”

Welles’ parents still mourn his death, but are proud that he was so selfless on his last day. 

“To know that Welles took off the equity trader hat and put it on the table and picked up his helmet– firefighters helmet–and went to work, for me that was an incredible, incredible thing to do,” said Jefferson.