MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Tributes took place across Colorado on Friday 19 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. One notable one was at the Manitou Incline in El Paso County, where firefighters climbed in memory of the 343 firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001 as well as the thousands of other victims.
— Kasia Kerridge (@KasiaKerridgeTV) September 11, 2020
The Firefighter Incline Climb is an annual event that is in its fifth year, and dozens of firefighters take part in the grueling effort. They climb in their full gear, which weighs more than 60 pounds, and the firefighter in front of the group carries a large American flag.
The Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs is famous for its sweeping views and steep grade, which is as steep as 68 percent in places. The 2,744-step trail is the remains of a former three foot narrow gauge funicular railway that was constructed in 1907.
RJ Gerry of Cheyenne Mountain Fire and Emergency Services told CBS4 partner KKTV that the climb is all about honoring the legacy of all the victims.
“Just saying a prayer for all the families that lost a loved one that day. We’re not only climbing for the 343, we’re climbing for all 2,977,” Gerry said.
“If everyone could just keep the families on your mind today, that’s the main thing that we need done today. It’s a very important day in United States history.”