Years earlier on a Sunday morning before church, a father gave his young son two handkerchiefs: a white one for his suit pocket for show, and a red one for his back pocket for the blow. As the child grew up, he became an athlete, a volunteer firefighter, and a college graduate. He even landed a coveted job on the 104th floor of the South tower of the World Trade Center. Throughout it all, he dreamed of becoming a firefighter. And throughout it all, he kept a red in his back pocket.
When the twin towers fell, the young man was nowhere to be found. No one knew what had happened to him. His family searched for months. Just when they thought they might never find him, stories began to surface about a mysterious young man. Through the smoke, flames, injuries, and panic, survivors remembered a young man with a red . These survivors said that they only lived because of him.
No one knew his name. No one knew who he was, but this young man, identified by a simple piece of red cloth, chose to help rather than flee. He could have gotten out and saved himself, but instead he guided these strangers to safety. Not once, but twice.
This is the story about how a red became a symbol of courage. This is the story of one young man who ran towards danger. He was simply doing what he felt was right. On that fateful day his dream of becoming a firefighter came true. He never made it out, but he lives on in the people he saved.
In the last hour of his life, twenty-four year old Welles Crowther made the fearless decision to help others. What would you do?
The Bottom Line: This was the best book I read last year. I highly recommend it to everyone. It would be a great pick for high schools and colleges. Also, book clubs will want to consider this inspirational biography.
Details: The Red Bandanna: A Life, A Choice, A Legacy by Tom Rinaldi. Hardcover published by Penguin Press in 2016. 224 p. ISBN: 978-1-59420-677-1