Firefighters from across the country climbed 110 stories in the Kansas City 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb Sunday morning.
photo courtesy Kansas City 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- 343 firefighters climbed 110 stories in full gear at the Town Pavilion in downtown Kansas City Sunday morning to honor lives lost in 9/11.
“I mean it’s not easy, it’s 110 stories,” said Connor McDonough, a Kansas City, Mo. firefighter.
“Some take their tools, they’ll take a hose bundle as they would that day climbing up those stairs,” said Kevin Joles, an Olathe firefighter.
As the firefighters headed into the stairwell they put their hand on a physical reminder of why they were doing the climb.
“This is a piece of steel that actually came from the twin towers,” said Joles, “Each of the climbers will probably give it a touch.”
Along the way, pictures of the firefighters who died were hung on the walls.
“We all want to stop at some point. It’s exhausting doing 110 floors. But you look at those pictures and you’re like okay, that’s why we’re doing this,” said Jenn King, Olathe firefighter.
Each firefighter carried the name of another who died on September 11th. King is climbing for Kenneth Watson. She says it's a reminder of why she does what she does every single day.
"I remember that day clearly. I was 15 at the time," King said. "I knew at that point I wanted to do better in the world. That's why I became a firefighter."
After each of the 343 firefighters completed their climb, they rang a bell to signify they completed the mission for their fallen brothers.
Money raised at the memorial climb goes to the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund to give financial help to families of the fallen.