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Southlake Style

Legacy of 9/11 Hero Welles Crowther Lives On in Southlake

Sep 09, 2016 10:34AM ● By Audrey Sellers

Welles at the Memorial Labyrinth at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

On one of the darkest days in American history, Welles Remy Crowther lost his life saving lives on 9/11. The American equities trader led people to safety after terrorists struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

His selfless act of heroism is not forgotten.

Southlake residents Colin and Tracey McDevitt were so moved by Crowther’s selflessness that they named their son Welles in his memory. They even wrote a letter to Crowther’s parents asking permission to name their son after Welles.

“Their response was immediate and an overwhelming yes. They were truly thrilled and grateful that we wanted to honor their son in that way,” Tracey recalls. “They wrote us a very sweet letter for our Welles to read when he was old enough.”

Welles McDevitt, now a seventh grader at Dawson Middle School, honors Crowther’s memory by wearing a red bandana to school each year on September 11. 

On Welles’ first day of fifth grade at Eubanks, his social studies teacher Jan Holland asked him to say something interesting about himself. Welles replied, “I’m named after a hero.”

Holland knew immediately that he was named after Welles Crowther. Unbeknownst to the McDevitt family, Holland had already included the story of Welles’ efforts on 9/11 in her curriculum.

“From there, we decided it would be wonderful to encourage the staff and students to wear red bandanas on September 11 to remember Welles Crowther,” says Tracey.

Remembering the Man in the Red Bandana

Each October, the McDevitts travel to Boston College to participate in the annual Red Bandana 5K, an event that brings together Crowther’s family, friends, Boston College alumni, students, faculty and staff to honor his life. Welles has been part of it since he was an infant, his father pushing him in a jogging stroller. Now, Welles runs the race himself.

“Boston College teaches students to be men and women for others (after St. Ignatius), and Welles Crowther truly lived that motto on that fateful day,” says Tracey. “When we learned we were expecting a boy, we truly couldn't think of a better way to honor his memory than to bring another little Welles into the world.”

After last year’s 5K, Welles traveled to New York City with his father and brother, Greer, to visit the site of the World Trade Center and to see Welles Crowther's name at the memorial.

Additionally, the McDevitts were guests of honor at the Texas showing of the full-length documentary film, “Man in Red Bandana.” The film, which shares Crowther’s inspirational story, has limited private showings across the nation and is expected for a full release in 2017. 

For more information on the Welles Remy Crowther Red Bandana 5K, visit, and to show your support with your own red bandana, click here.

Remembering 9/11 Hero, Welles Remy Crowther