Welles worked on the 104th floor of the South Tower for Sandler O'Neill and Partners. One of the things he was known for was a red bandana he carried with him always (his father habitually carried a blue one of the same nature).
When the buildings were hit, Welles sprung into action. You can chalk it up to him being a firefighter and used to pressure situations, or maybe he just wasn't afraid somehow. But he began making his way around to people and directing them towards a stairway he had found. These people were on the ground, hurt, lost, not knowing what to do. They all describe it now as a just seeing a man with a red bandana coming through the smoke, and he is credited with directly saving 12 people's lives.
They are eternally in his debt.
It is the things like this story, that we can hold on to. It is stories like this that we use to try to cover up the pain, the hurt, the anguish. I struggle to get through this day every year without tears. I end up watching lots of Youtube videos about that day, and the pictures are like something out of a horror film. There are so many disturbing images of the second plane hitting, sirens blaring, cops running but staring up in awe, unsure of what to even do. Fire engines flying through the city and people running and screaming. The two hardest things for me to watch are people falling out of the windows, and those running from the giant wall of smoke and debris when the buildings collapsed.
At the end of the day, I suppose we can say that there is some sort of silver lining. Though many innocent people died, it brought our country together like nothing else could. We still mourn just as hard, 11 years later. The memories will always hurt, and the pain won't ever subside. But life continues on. The best thing to do is remember, to embrace each other and mourn together, and pray for those who lost their lives on that day.
|Welles Crowther, American Hero|
05.17.77 - 09.11.01