Firefighters Commemorate 9/11 at Memorial Stair Climb
Firefighters wear 60 pounds of gear while doing the stair climb
FARGO, N.D. — Eighteen years have passed since 9/11, and local firefighters are keeping the memory alive.
Family Wellness hosted its annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb to raise awareness and honor those lost.
Firefighters from Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo are doing the stair climb machine in 60 minute intervals in attempt to reach 110 stories.
It was 110 stories to the top of the World Trade Center.
They wear 60 pounds of gear.
Firefighters say it’s not so much the stairs that are difficult, but the heat from the gear.
And why do they do it?
To make sure what happened 18 years ago is never forgotten, especially for the younger generation.
West Fargo firefighter John Neeb was in 9th grade when it happened.
“I didn’t think it was real when it first happened, I remember our teachers turning on the TV, and we all just sat there staring, and then the second one hit and it just sunk in and basically we just kind of stood there in silence for a few minutes,” he said.
“I remember it was tragic all over the world. I think the world stopped at that moment. I was very young, but I could understand it was not good at all for everyone, and we were all sitting and watching the TV in horror so it was not good for us,” West Fargo firefighter Reinand Swanepoel said.
The Stair Climb is not only to honor firefighters and victims, but also to raise money for those who help in emergencies.
Money raised will go towards the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Relief Fund.
“It feels like we need to give back more. It’s been surreal to see how many lives have been changed and touched through 9/11. It’s great to be part of it right now,” Swanepoel said.
And what does it feel like after doing the climb?
“I’m tired. I’m tingling. I need sugar or something in me,” Neeb said.
This is the sixth year Family Wellness has held the Stair Climb. About 30 local firefighters participate each year.