This weekend is the 10 year anniversary of the most tragic day in my lifetime: September 11, 2001. Like most, I will never forget where I was when it happened. I will never forget the chaos and the rumors that spread beyond the attacks on the Pentagon and Twin Towers. I remember the numb and disconnected feelings as I watched person after person jump to their death from 100 stories to avoid the pain of burning to death. I remember thinking it had to be a dream. I remember watching in horrified awe as the Towers collapsed.
Then came the weeks of fear for the people we knew working in New York and the Pentagon, trying to track down and make sure everyone was alive and well. Work was forgotten; small issues were no longer important; September 11 put life into perspective.
Most of you have your own powerful and terrible memories from that day. Although nothing about that day can be called “positive,” there were endless examples of the good of mankind to contrast the evil of mankind exhibited that day. Many people gave their lives for others, often for strangers. The police and firefighters of New York famously earned their honor and reputation.
One such man was Welles Crowther, a worker in the Twin Towers who exhibited those great and selfless qualities in giving his life for others. I had never heard the story of “The Man in the Red Bandana” before – he was a former lacrosse player at Boston College whose trademark was a red bandana.This video captures his courage and leadership on 9-11.
For many of us, our greatest fear isn’t death, it’s to die and to not have mattered to the world. This young man gave his life for others. Even though it was way too short, he and his family know with certainty that Welles life mattered.
If you have an inspirational story from 9-11, I’d like to hear about it.