LUBBOCK, Texas – As the 21st anniversary of 9/11 approaches, first responders remember the 110 flights climbed that tragic day. Local firefighters traveled to Dallas Friday to participate in the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.
The climb will take place Saturday morning, starting at 8:47, the same time firefighters started their climb that day after the north tower was hit by Flight 11.
Fire Chief of West Carlisle VFD, Tim Smith, said “This is our small way of remembering those that did die in the line of duty.” He said it’s also a way to remember the citizens as well, when close to 3000 people lost their lives.
“Every person that was on duty that died in the line of duty has someone climbing for them,” he added. Those participating in the climb will be 343 firemen, 70 police officers, and 9 EMS personnel.
Marty Lawrence, the Fire and EMS Coordinator for the Dallas Climb said there are first responders coming from all over the country. When sign ups opened in June, spots filled up within just one minute.
“There are pauses along the way,” Lawrence explained, “moments of silence, like when the first tower fell, we stop. Then when the second tower fell, we stop.”
Each participant will carry an accountability tag of someone who died that day in their pocket, and once they reach the top, they come back down to stick their tag on the accountability board to tell them that they finished their duties. They’ll then ring a bell in their honor and say their name over the microphone.
“It’s pretty moving when you get up there, 110 stories in the air and say, Hey, I did it. You came home,” Smith added.
This is the Dallas Climb’s eleventh year, and organizers will continue it year after year to remember those who climbed up, and never came down.