(Oct. 17, 2014) Ocean City and the Delmarva Emerald Society will host the second annual 9/11 stair climb to honor firefighters who lost their lives over 13 years ago. The event will take place at the Pyramid Condominium on Saturday, Oct. 18.
Participants will climb the steps more than five times, for a total of 110 stories, which is the number of floors in the fallen Twin Towers. Each climber will carry a picture of a fallen firefighter.
“The symbolic part of the climb is interesting. Each participant carries a card with a picture of a fallen firefighter from 9/11. You are finishing the climb for someone who did not get to complete it, although they are technically along for the ride when climbers carry their picture,” said James L. Jester, president of the Delmarva Emerald Society, co-sponsor of the event.
Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the first climbers will start at 9 a.m. The event is open to everyone. The registration fee is $30, which includes an official event t-shirt.
“Personally, I like to help raise money for good causes and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) is one of them. The event is important to me because it honors the 343 firefighters who died in the line of duty on 9/11,” said Jester.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation honors fallen firefighters and assists their families and coworkers.
Last year, 83 climbers participated and 41 people are already confirmed for the event. Organizers hope to double the numbers this year.
“This time last year, we had less climbers confirmed, which means we should not have a problem getting at least 100 people to participate this year,” said Jester.
The event is not a race, but an opportunity to honor the fallen firefighters. Volunteers and potential donors are encouraged to attend the event even if the stair climb itself is not an option.
The first stair climb was held on Sept. 11, 2005 in Colorado. Five firefighters climbed 110 flights of stairs in memory of FDNY brothers who were killed in the terrorist attacks. The next year, 12 firefighters participated, representing four fire departments from the Denver area. Each year attendance grew until organizers capped it at 343 participants in 2008.
The Denver 9/11 memorial stair climb has evolved into an anticipated event and has generated interest from people across the country. Individuals have adapted the format and host events in their own cities.
In 2010, the original Denver team partnered with NFFF. Together they created a template for coordinators to successfully replicate a 9/11 memorial stair climb anywhere in the United States.
Register online at http://www.firehero.org/events/9-11-stair-climbs/ or in person at the event on Saturday morning.