Registration open for event honoring BC’s 9/11 red bandana hero

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BOSTON – Every year, the Boston College community pulls together to remember a 9/11 hero who is one of their own.

Registration is live for this October’s Welles Remy Crowther Red Bandanna 5K, named for Welles Crowther, a former B.C. Eagle who was known for his integrity and leadership on B.C.’s lacrosse team and for the red bandannas he always carried.

Welles Remy Crowther, a 1999 B.C. graduate, had a red bandanna with him ever since his father handed him one at the age of six, the Boston Globe reported. Following his graduation, Crowther entered the world of business, working his way up to the 104th story of the World Trade Center’s South Tower.

Welles Remy Crowther and his mother, Allison, at his BC graduation. (Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust)

Welles Remy Crowther and his mother, Allison, at his BC graduation. (Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust)

Crowther, who volunteered as a firefighter in high school, confided in his father that he wanted to do more with his life than “looking at a computer screen” and voiced his desire to join New York City’s fire department. Sadly, however, his life was cut short on Sept. 11, 2001 when terrorists flew United Flight 175 into the South Tower, bringing the building down and murdering thousands. Although Crowther called his mother from his office after the crash to say that he was alright, his body was later found huddled among those of firefighters from the New York Fire Department.

Nearly nine months after her son’s death, Alison Crowther read a newspaper article in which survivors spoke about an unidentified man who “appeared out of nowhere” and began guiding civilians down the South Tower’s staircases, even carrying a woman 17 stories to reach emergency responders. The article said the man then pivoted and ran back up the stairs to help others, completing the trip twice before heading back up a third time; he never returned. Alison however, focused on the one detail the eyewitnesses noticed about the anonymous hero —the red bandana covering his nose and mouth.

Alison sent a photo of her son to the survivors, who confirmed his identity as the “Man in the Red Bandana,” one saying that after the plane crashed into the tower, Crowther began leading rescue efforts and urging others to follow his lead. He is directly credited with saving up to 12 lives that day.

To honor Crowther’s memory and celebrate the legacy of this extraordinary man, who in his final moments embodied the ideal of a “person for others,” the motto of the Jesuits who run Boston College. Crowther’s family established Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust to support young men and women who serve their communities, and represent the traits of Crowther himself.

The annual 5K race, hosted by B.C. on Saturday, Oct. 15, is the university’s way of remembering Crowther’s heroism. All runners carry with them a red bandanna and proceeds benefit the trust his family founded. Join the race here.