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Man in the red bandana : story

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Man in the red bandana : story

Through this article, we will retrace the incredible story of Welles Remy Crowther, alias the man with the red bandana. A volunteer firefighter in New York City, this man became a hero and a legend.

You will discover how the courageous and selfless actions of one man can touch and inspire thousands. This heroic man saved a dozen people on September 11, 2001, in the South Tower of the World Trade Center, at the cost of his own life.

He was nicknamed "the man with the red bandana" for the bandana he wore as a protective mask around his face during his heroic rescue.


I - "The Man In Red Bandana": the story of a hero


Welles Remy Crowther, Source : Wikipedia

On September 11, New Yorkers showed extraordinary courage and risked their lives to save others. One of these heroes was the man in the red bandanna, Welles Crowther.

When the first hijacked plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center, people in the lobby of the 78th floor gathered, scared, confused and trapped.

Then, a man with a red bandana covering his nose and mouth suddenly appeared from the wreckage and smoke. He spoke in a calm voice and guided them to a stairway, leading them to safety.

The man with the red bandanna made three trips back and forth to save as many people as possible, saving as many people as possible, until the burning building collapsed.

A few months after September 11th, testimonies and stories of people who survived the tragedy began to emerge, with one thing in common: the presence of a mysterious man wearing the red bandana.

When Alison Crowther read an article in the New York Times mentioning a hero wearing a red bandanna, she knew right away that this man was her son, Welles Crowther, 24 years old.

He had been wearing a red handkerchief since he was a child.


Welles Crowther's bravery and heroism on September 11 will never be forgotten. As Judy Wein, who was rescued by Crowther, points out, "People can live 100 years without the compassion, the means to do what he did".

Welles Crowther's red bandana is currently on display at the museum.


II - Biography of Welles Remy Crowther

Welles Remy Crowther was born on Tuesday, May 17, 1977 at the Lying-In Hospital in New York City.


From an early age, he showed great qualities: always polite and caring. He cared for others, especially his little sister, Honor, and was very protective, with a strong sense of duty. He was also very disciplined from an early age.

These qualities of sense of duty and caring for others were a strong part of Welles' character throughout his life. His friends and family recognized these qualities in him.

He was a brilliant student and a great Division I athlete.

As early as kindergarten, when Welles was asked about his future, he had an immediate and confident answer: He would be a firefighter. He grew up volunteering with the local fire department and loved necessity and camaraderie, a sense of duty.

So, at the age of 18, Welles completed the New York State Pyrotechnics Training Program and became a full-fledged member of society, fighting fires and dealing with emergencies.

At twenty-four and just out of college, Welles put aside his ambitions as a firefighter for a job at Sandler O'Neill, a small but powerful investment bank in the World Trade Center.


He may have looked like an investment banker, but there was an unorthodox element to his personal dress code that was not visible at first. It was a constant, hidden in the back right pocket of every pair of pants and suit pants.

It was a red bandana that his father had given him when he was a child.
"You can always keep it on you," his father had told him at the time. "You'll always have it if you need it."

From then on, he kept it in his back right pocket every day.

On September 11, 2001, when the attacks on the World Trade Center began, Welles was no longer a stock trader. He became a firefighter.

An event in which he was particularly courageous.

Welles' last hour remained a mystery for more than six months, until his body was found on March 19, 2002.


Later an article on September 11th published on May 26th, 2002 in the New York Times mentions the testimony of a mysterious man wearing a red bandana on the 78th floor of the 2 World Trade Center when the second plane crashed into the South Tower.

Welles was probably there at the time, since he was finally able to descend into the main lobby before the tower collapsed.

Eyewitnesses reported that after the plane crashed, a man suddenly appeared "out of nowhere". He was stripped down to his T-shirt and was wearing a red bandana to cover his nose and mouth, protection from smoke and debris.

This man organized a rescue operation on the upper floors where the official rescuers were able to get to. He found and directed the dazed and confused victims to the only open stairwell to escape, carried a woman to the 61st floor, and then returned to the 78th floor to rescue others. He climbed back up once more after bringing down the second group of survivors.

Eyewitnesses report that the man spoke calmly and authoritatively and was obviously well trained. He reportedly saved many lives that day.

Knowing that her son always carried a red bandana in his back right pocket, Welles' mother thought that the description of the mystery man matched her son's character, training and likely location at the time. She sent recent photos of her son to eyewitnesses.

Witnesses confirmed that Welles Crowther was "the man with the red bandana" who helped save their lives and the lives of others on September 11.


III - "Man In Red Bandana": the film

"Man In Red Bandana" is a documentary film, released in 2017, on the story inspired by the American hero Welles Remy Crowther.

The film traces Welles' courageous actions on that fateful day and examines the many people (family, friends and strangers) who were inspired by Welles' actions and the unique ways in which they honored him.

The film is the first effort of writer and director Matthew Weiss. He first heard about Welles' remarkable story at a luncheon with Jefferson Crowther, Welles' father. Matthew was amazed and inspired. He quickly decided that everyone should hear this story and obtained the Crowther's permission and blessing to make Man In Red Bandana.


The story of the man with the red bandana will thus remain forever engraved in history.

In the spring of 2014, President Obama stood in the footprint of the fallen towers to speak at the inauguration of the National Museum of Remembrance of September 11.

Among the 2,977 people who perished in the attacks that day, the President chose to mention one by name: Welles Crowther - a man "who gave his life so that others might live".

A replica of the red bandana is on display in the museum today - in homage to Welles.

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