DENVER (CBS4)– Family members of a fallen FDNY firefighter killed on Sept. 11, 2001 led the charge at Red Rocks Amphitheatre as thousands gather to remember those who lost their lives on this day 13 years ago.
About 2,000 people made their way up a path toward the amphitheatre. Once at the amphitheatre the climbers completed nine laps — the same amount of stairs as 110 stories — or the height of the World Trade Center.
“I’ve just been told that there are 1,500 people here from 20 states,” said CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann who participated in the event.
“Once again we are the largest stair climb across the country,” said Poudre Fire Authority firefighter Chris Hill. “Ultimately it’s about all of us coming together and being one.”
It’s not an easy challenge, which makes it part of the tribute.
Those participating in the stair climb include firefighters, law enforcement and civilians who want to honor those who lost their lives.
“Carrying the colors of those who have fallen and remembering them,” said West Metro Fire Rescue firefighter Yon Nunez. “They go with me, everyday.”
He carries pictures of some who lost their lives in his helmet during the stair climb.
West Metro Fire Rescue firefighter Robert Kennedy believes events like this are as important as fighting fires.
“To remind us why we’re here. Why we go to work everyday,” said Kennedy.
“We’re just getting to $50,000. All the money raised today goes back to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and those proceeds go to the counseling unit of the FDNY for those who are still affected by 9/11,” said Hill.
Many firefighters choose to climb the stairs wearing all their gear, just as those who climbed the World Trade Center did.
“This is a time to remember, this is the time to never forget. It’s time to care and take care of your fellow mankind,” said Nunez.