Today I participated in my 2nd 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb in my home town of Richmond, Virginia. This was the 2nd annual climb and it was hosted by the City of Richmond Fire Department. Here is the post from last years climb http://averagejakeff.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/richmond-va-911-memorial-stair-climb-2/
This years climb was a little different. While last year there was no where close to 343 firefighters involved in the climb this year it was a sell out! Last year I was left disappointed at the low numbers this year I could not be more proud! to be honest there is no excuse for not selling out, my department alone has 600 uniformed firefighters. In fact it is a shame with all of the other departments in the area and within an hours drive of Richmond that there is not 2 of these because the numbers are there to fill it up.
This years climb was also a little different as the public was allowed to be involved in the climb, and my family members took full advantage. Last year just my me, my brother, and my wife made the climb. This year my sister-in-law Rebecca (and EMT and Nurse at Lynchburg Va General Hospital), My sister-in-law Amy (brothers wife and Nurse at Henrico Doctors Forrest Hospital), and my sister Christy made the climb. My sister actually has a unique story. Her husband Adam is a Damage Control Fireman for the United States Navy serving aboard the USS Enterprise currently deployed. This sort of thing is right up Adam’s alley and he was disappointed he would be unable to do it for the second year in a row due to being deployed. So my sister stepped up and did it in his place!
Of course my wife Karen (President East Hanover Volunteer Rescue Squad, and Emergency Operations Asst. Manager for the Virginia Office of EMS) and my brother Danny (Rescue Company 2 City of Richmond Fire Department) also made the climb again.
I got to climb this year for Firefighter Joseph Spor from Rescue Co. 3
This year I actually climbed in gear, and got a more real sense of what our 343 brothers had to deal with while making the climb. However while our stairwells were filled with encouragement, fans, and water bottles. Theres were filled with screams for help, smoke, and desperation. I am certainly proud of the tribute I brought to the table today, and the one everyone else did as well. I just know that in no way did the thing I do today come anywhere close to the sacrifice the 343 brothers of the FDNY made on 9/11. Those heroes deserve our thanks, and remembrance EVERYDAY!
If you have not done one WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!! This is ultimate form of tribute and remembrance for those that sacrificed EVERYTHING! We all promised to never forget, and never forgetting means NEVER FORGETTING. Not only is it a tribute but the money raised goes to the FDNY Counseling Unit that runs totally unfunded and on donations. This unit helps counsel firefighters, and there families.
Here is a link to the local news coverage and a few more pictures.
Well that’s all I have for now, make sure on Tuesday you do something to remember the 343 and all the victims of 9/11 you truly do owe it to them.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!