9/11 Museum Opening Honors Man in Red Bandana
President Obama helps dedicate museum
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2014 11:53 AM CDT
A pair of World Trade Center tridents, that once formed part of the exterior structural support of the east facade of the building, are displayed at the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – President Obama today helped dedicate the National September 11 Memorial Museum, and his comments opened with the recollection of a man who "emerged from the smoke, and over his nose and his mouth, he wore a red handkerchief." It was Welles Crowther, a 24-year-old working on the South Tower's 104th floor who, as Obama explained, had carried a red handkerchief with him since he was a child. And on 9/11, the "man in the red bandana" was a hero:

  • "He called for fire extinguishers to fight back the flames. He attended to the wounded. He led those survivors down the stairs to safety, and carried a woman on his shoulders down 17 flights. Then, he went back, back up all those flights, then back down again, bringing more wounded to safety, until that moment when the tower fell. ... And today, as we saw on our tour, one of his red handkerchiefs is on display in this museum. And from this day forward, all those who come here will have a chance to know the sacrifice of a young man who, like so many, gave his life so others might live."
In advance of his comments, Obama, the first lady, and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg toured the museum, whose seven stories hold artifacts from the attack, including what CNN calls the "ordinary": leather gloves (used during the recovery effort), a red wallet (owned by a Cantor Fitzgerald employee), a $2 bill (from the wallet of a victim who gave his wife one, too, as a reminder of their second chance at love). USA Today reports that 9/11 survivors, the victims' families, and first responders can visit for free between now and when it opens to the public (admission: $24) on Wednesday.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Richard Judd
May 18, 2014 1:42 PM CDT
Everything geared towards tourists is expensive in NY. Going to the "Top of the Rock" is $29.00 Same cost to go to the viewing deck of the Empire State Building. So the controlled demolition turned terrorist attack victims museum is actually a little cheaper at $24.00 a person.
Richard Judd
May 18, 2014 1:36 PM CDT
One thing that so many victims of 911 had in common with the man in the red bandana (Welles Crowther) is hardly none are listed in the Social Security Death Index even after 13 years. So strange. Everyone I know who has died is on that list.
Imhotep
May 16, 2014 8:37 AM CDT
Yeah , that's what I want to do. Travel 3000 miles for a vacation and pay 24 bucks to visit a museum that makes me so depressed it ruins my vacation. Is there a restaurant and a gift shop there too ? You can work up a pretty big appetite reading all those depressing antidotes. Talk about morbid. I'll take Disney World any day over that huge bummer.