Welles Crowther's senior quote in his high school yearbook was the simple adage, "There is no 'I' in team." As a lacrosse and hockey player, he lived that motto through sports. As a volunteer firefighter, he lived that motto through service. As as equities trader working on the 104th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, he lived that motto through selfless heroism that saved others' lives and cost him his own.
Crowther was just 24 years old when the planes struck. From that tragic moment until the tower fell, survivors say he led others to safety, repeatedly returning to the 78th floor lobby where people were stranded and guiding them down the one working stairway to where firefighters could take the to a working elevator. He had the opportunity to save himself—if he had gone with the first group of people he rescued, he could have made it out of the building before it collapsed. But he kept going back to save more lives.
ESPN created a beautiful video highlighting Crowther's heroism, told through the voices of his parents, teammates, colleagues, and even some whose lives he directly saved.
The Man in the Red Bandana | SC Featuredwww.youtube.com
Beginning with the red bandana Crowther had kept with him from early childhood and ending with how that bandana ultimately helped uncover the unknown details of his final hours, the tribute is a moving tale of tragedy and courage, selflessness and sacrifice. While every loss on 9/11 should be remembered, Welles Crowther deserves to have his story shared far and wide as an inspiration for us all.
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