On September 11th 2016 I was lucky enough to participate in the Richmond Virginia 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb held at the SunTrust building in the City of Richmond, hosted by the City of Richmond Fire Department. This was the 6th climb hosted in the city the 5th time participating in the climb, and 6th climb overall (FDIC 2014). Last year while I had signed up for the climb I was unable to participate due to scheduling, which was difficult. Recently I have had discussions with others about Never Forgetting, this being the 15th Anniversary of 9/11. While this was the biggest stair climb in terms of attendance, there are still people who have no idea what the climb is about. I even had someone tell me “why would I want to go down there and watch a bunch of competitive meat heads climb stairs for their ego”. Others just do not want to do the physical activity necessary to climb those stairs.
I do not care how you remember, the tribute you make is up to you as long as your making one. However, for me I feel that I am drawn to the stair climb. Ever since I saw my first one at FDIC I have felt an obligation to climb those stairs, to sacrifice some sort of physical tribute to those brave 343 who climbed those World Trade Center stairs. This climb while tougher (for me at least) was the same. I climbed in full gear and SCBA (not on air), and it was more difficult than I have ever experienced in terms of fatigue.
However Captain Walter G. Hynes of Ladder 13 was taken all 110 flights.
However you choose to Never Forget continue to do so. As for me, this will not be my last climb and I will never forget the 343 and the other victims of that tragic day.
Thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!