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Last weekend marked the 10 year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001. On Saturday across the nation, tributes and memorials were held during many sporting events to honor and remember those who tragically died on that day.
At UCF a couple of students that had watched the ESPN OTL tribute to Welles Crowther (a Boston College graduate) decided it would be a good idea to wear red bandannas in honor of Welles and all those who died on 9/11 at the UCF vs BC football game.
It started out as a Facebook invitation to a small group of friends and quickly flourished into an event that had thousands of people committed to wearing a read bandanna to the game. I personally bought a dozen for myself, family, and friends. It was reported you couldn’t find red bandannas for miles outside of Orlando leading up to the game.
I was curious to see what the actual turnout would be like. Arriving on campus and walking around showed that the message may have gotten to more people than I had expected.
The longer the day went on, more people showed up, and the number of red bandannas continued to grow as well.
I certainly expected the student section (pictured above) to have participated in the honoring in large droves. What I didn’t expect was the number of alumni and fans sitting throughout the rest of the stadium wearing red bandannas. From the picture below you can see the home sideline seats that are filled with thousands upon thousands of Black, Gold, and Red. It was amazing to see, not for the number of people who were participating, but the fact that those people now know the story of Welles Crowther.
This experience was one I had not seen before at a UCF football game. I thought it was touching to honor a graduate of the visiting Boston College team that saved the lives of dozens of people while ultimately sacrificing his own on 9/11. Especially from a fan base not always known for being the most hospitable. But it goes to show that there are some things in life that are far more important and can rise above anything else.