On one of the darkest days of our nation’s history 343 firefighters lost their lives trying to rescue those hit the hardest by the terrorist attack on September eleventh. The twin tours were crumbling as firefighters raced up stairs knowing they may not race back down. 9/11/01 marks the biggest rescue and loss from a single event.
To honor lives lost, stair climbs have become synonymous across the nation and also the world. West Metro Firefighters began climbing stairs at Red Rocks to remember fallen firefighters. They realized it is an event that could greatly impact and benefit more than just those in the fire industry.
Three years ago more than 400 people powered up the stairs after West Metro opened the event to the public. Firefighter, Shawn Duncan says he had no idea how much attention the event would receive. To mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks over 3,000 participants came out. Most may not be in full gear like the firefighters but it certainly puts the rescue effort in perspective. All participants receive a sticker with the picture and name of a fallen firefighter to climb in honor of.
Captain Dean Wahl of West Metro F.D. says though an ominous day, 9/11 has brought him and his son closer together. Tyler Wahl was 10 years old at the time and worried about his father working in the fire industry. Tyler is now 20 and following in his fathers footsteps and says he has the up most respect for him.
This year’s climb may have passed, but for the eleventh anniversary in 2012 make sure to join the crowds at Red Rocks. Proceeds benefit the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation and will also help fund the Historic Lakewood-Mountair Fire Station #1 at Lakewood’s Heritage Center.