9/11 Stair Climb 2015
Today is the 14th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers in NYC. Utica hosted its first annual Stair Climb in honor of that tragedy. A tall office building in Utica was the venue for the event. The responders included fire fighters, EMTs and law enforcement personnel. Registration was required, and the hope was that there would be 343 volunteers to represent the 343 responders who perished that day.
Each volunteer was encouraged to wear full gear. Each wore a lanyard with an ID card of a fallen responder (there were about 200 volunteers, so many wore two IDs so that all the responders who perished would be represented), and each climbed the stairs in the office building as many times as necessary to simulate the 110 stories of the Twin Tower buildings.
The event was scheduled to begin at 8:35 am, the time when the first tower was struck. Before that there was a group photo session. Even though I got a little lost once I got off the thruway (what a surprise), I got there in time to grab a few shots of the assembled group. Just before they broke up, someone told them all to look up. I'm guessing someone was on an upper floor getting a shot.
While they were queuing for their turn (they entered the building in three groups spaced apart), I wandered around taking photos. It was so fun talking to all the personnel, and finding out where they were from. Everyone was super-cooperative and happy to have their photos made.
The group below came from Odessa, Texas just for this event.
The two in the next image are in different fire departments, but they attend the same training classes. The guy is 17, the girl a little younger. Yay for volunteers!!
This was a truly moving tribute to the tragedy of 9/11. I'm not going to say I can't wait till next year because that would be rushing time. But I will say that the event is on my radar and my plan is, God willing, to attend again.