DENVER (CBS4)– What started out as a handful of firefighters wanting to honor their fallen colleagues on 9/11 has turned into a very popular event with hundreds of firefighters participating.

The tribute began with five Denver firefighters wanting to honor those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

More than a decade later, hundreds of firefighters are climbing 55 flights of stairs, twice, at the Century Link building in downtown Denver.

The climb equals the 110 stories of the World Trade Center towers.

Nearly 400 firefighters from across Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and New Mexico participated this year.

Before they took to the stairs they observed a moment of silence for those who lost their lives.

Then the firefighters suited up with 75 pounds of gear, just like the fire crews wear in New York.

With every step those firefighters honored their heroes and their sacrifice.

“Each firefighter today is going to be climbing with a picture and name tag of a firefighter who died on 9/11. Then after the climb is over they’ll call that family to let them know that we haven’t forgotten,” said Denver Fire Asst. Chief David McGrail.

McGrail is one of the firefighters who started the stair climb tradition. Now there are similar events all over the world.

Those include the stair climb at Red Rocks which is the largest in the world with nearly 1,500 people participating in that climb.


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