As another anniversary of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks passes, new tales of selfless heroism continue to emerge. Man in Red Bandana, a documentary expected out in May 2014, tells the story of Welles Crowther’s bravery on that fateful day. Crowther — a veteran of the volunteer fire department in Nyack, NY, where he grew up — was at work in the World Trade Center’s south tower on September 11, 2001. Instead of fleeing the chaos, Crowther wrapped his face in the red bandana he always carried with him and put his fire department training to use one last time. He directed people towards the stairwell and carried those who couldn’t walk, according to the survivors he helped save.
Ling Young, one of those he rescued, told Crowther’s mother about her son’s bravery. “All of a sudden, I heard a gentleman … come out of the corner saying, ‘I found the stairs, follow me and only help who you can help,’” Young said.
Welles Crowther was 24 when he died that day. His family has started a trust fund for high-school students who exemplify the bravery Welles displayed throughout his life.
Below is a video of Crowther’s friend John Howells speaking to reporters about the young man’s heroism. “He could have taken the easy way out. There are a lot of situations in everybody’s life where you can take the easy way out. You can just go with the flow and you can do what everybody else was doing — everybody else was running out of the building. He really listened to his gut. And was a hero for it,” Howells said.