As you are no doubt keenly aware, Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks that forever changed the lives of every American alive at the time and those born in its aftermath. There will, of course, be myriad remembrances on Sept. 11 all across the country to honor the memory those who lost their lives that terrible day in the towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on that field in Shanksville.
As it pertains to the game of college football, one of those remembrances will take place the day prior and will be undertaken by Boston College — with a huge initial assist and/or prompting from UCF students. BC wrote in a release Thursday afternoon that its players “will wear red bandana stickers on their helmets at Saturday’s game at Central Florida to honor Welles Crowther, a former BC varsity lacrosse player who has been hailed as a hero who saved many lives in the south tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.”
Witnesses said Crowther exited and re-entered the tower he worked in at least three times trying to get people out. He’s credited with directly saving at least 18 people.
Crowther died when the south tower collapsed as he and other New York firefighters were attempting to rescue additional victims.
In addition to the helmet stickers, Crowther’s two sisters have been invited to travel to Orlando this weekend as part of the official team party, and UCF, in a very classy move, will introduce Honor Fagan and Paige Crowther during the third quarter of the nonconference contest.
From the press release:
“Welles Crowther is a true American hero, and we are very proud that he was a Boston College student-athlete,” [BC athletic director Gene] DeFilippo said. “As Americans reflect in the upcoming days on the solemn occasion of the 9/11 anniversary, we are humbled by the bravery Welles exhibited that day.”
Welles Crowther was an equities trader in the south tower of the World Trade Center on September 11. Months after the attacks, survivors began piecing together stories of the events and Crowther’s heroic acts came to light. Crowther used the last hour of his life to save the lives of others, using a red bandana to cover his nose and mouth as protection against smoke and debris. Crowther had carried a red bandana in his pocket since his father gave him one as a child, and it became his trademark as he wore one under his helmet as a BC lacrosse player. His heroics were documented in the “Outside the Lines” segment on ESPN, produced by ESPN’s Drew Gallagher (BC ’99), who was a friend of Welles at BC, written by Tom Rinaldi and narrated by the actor Edward Burns.
First of all, bravo to BC for recognizing one of their own in a very special, meaningful way. Additionally, and perhaps especially, a rousing standing ovation is in order for, as the release puts it, the “UCF students who were moved by a recent ESPN ‘Outside the Lines’ video documenting Crowther’s 9/11 heroics, start[ing] a Facebook event page to encourage UCF fans to wear red bandanas to the football game in remembrance of Crowther.”
Well done, UCF. Well done.