MORRISON, Colo. (CBS4) – Thousands of people gathered at Red Rocks on Wednesday to honor the 343 FDNY firefighters and almost 3,000 Americans killed in terror attacks on September 11, 2001. The Colorado 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb raises more that a million dollars a year for FDNY Counseling Services Unit and other programs that all help support families of fallen firefighters.
The event began with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the moment when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center 18 years ago. The stair climb began at 9:03 a.m., the moment hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower.
Participants completed nine laps around the amphitheater — climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. Many firefighters completed the climb in full gear.
“This is a job I’ve wanted to do my whole life — a lot of people wish they could do this job. So it’s an honor to be able to do it and really show the community that this is a passion for people who do this job. It’s really an honor to be able to be here today — to always be there for them,” firefighter Leif Chinender told CBS4.
Firefighter and community members came together to climb the steps of red rocks 9 times, equivalent to the 110 stories climbed by first responders. Today, and every day we honor our brothers and sisters lost on that tragic day. #NeverForget #ThinRedLine pic.twitter.com/0X3KO06UyV
— Wellington Fire Protection District (Colorado) (@WellingtonFire1) September 11, 2019
Fire departments from across Colorado took part in the annual event.
18 years ago time stood still as first responders rushed to help…and many gave the ultimate sacrifice. EFR honors their memory & remember today by participating in 2 stair-climbs. #911neverforget #September11th #remember911. pic.twitter.com/opkBuLhVGv
— Evergreen FireRescue (@efr_co) September 11, 2019
Group of Greeley Firefighters completed the 9-11 memorial high rise stair climb in Denver today. Well done!
— Greeley Fire Dept. (@GreeleyFire) September 11, 2019
#DenverFireDepartment & Colo. FD's recognize #911Anniversary at the Colorado 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb @RedRocksCO & 9/11 Stair Climb at 1801 California. Please take a moment to remember & honor those 2997 who lost their lives 18 years ago including 412 Emergency Service workers. pic.twitter.com/FTJ83JZGHH
— Denver Fire Dept. (@Denver_Fire) September 11, 2019
Colorado’s Stair Climb is one of more than 40 stair climbs held around the world and is the largest in the country.
The group raised $106,000.