Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Red Bandanna: A Life, a Choice, a Legacy by Tom Rinaldi

The Red Bandanna: A Life, a Choice, a Legacy by Tom Rinaldi-216 pages

I wanted to read this last September, since it is a true story about a young man who saved others at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, but I didn't get around to it until now. It is a touching, heartbreaking story about a 24-year-old named Welles Crowther who worked for a firm that had its office on the 104th floor of 2 World Trade Center, He was also a volunteer firefighter as was his father. Welles' aspiration was to become a firefighter with the FDNY and was posthumously awarded an honorary member a few years after his death saving others on 9/11. The reason the book is called "The Red Bandanna" is that Welles always carried a red bandanna from 8 years old until his death at 24 and two women identified him as the one who saved them (and others) by the red bandanna (and his face). President Obama invited Welles' parents, Jeff and Alison, and one of the two women (Ling Young) who definitively identified Welles to the dedication of the 9/11 Museum and invited Alison to give a brief speech, which she did. President Obama spoke of Welles' story at this dedication ceremony before Alison's brief remarks. It would be gratifying and comforting, yet heartbreaking to lose a family member in this way, especially a child who had yet to marry or really begin adult life. Welles and a few FDNY members perished a mere seventy-three feet or so from safety, but saved many lives. Overall, this met my expectations and more and I was really touched by Welles' heroism. I know he wasn't a "superhero" but he was absolutely a hero and a role model.

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