The city of Greensboro held its sixth annual Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday, September 3 at the Bellemeade Parking Deck, located on 220 N. Greene St.
This event honors those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 in New York City.
The Greensboro Fire Department continues to host this event annually due to the vast turnout of community members and victims of 9/11.
“We expect our largest crowd this year at the Memorial Stair Climb,” Fire Department Assistant Chief Dwayne Church stated. “Over 3,000 people from across the state will be attending and we are pleased to welcome them.”
In addition to the substantial turnout, the appreciation that the department receives from hosting such an event encourages the organizers to hold it annually.
“We keep doing what we are doing because we know how much it means to the people,” Church said. “It is evident that the community appreciates our efforts and that is what we strive for with this event.”
Firefighter Ashley Keith explains how participants go through the stair climb.
“Basically, you climb up the stairs, walk down ramp, and the number of steps you walk signifies the highest number of floors firefighters made it on 9/11,” Keith states.
Although the event does not memorialize anyone from Greensboro, the city still chooses to commemorate this occasion.
“Not only is it important that we pay our respects to the victims of 9/11,” Church stated, “but we must also recognize the heroes that lost their lives during the incident, such as law officials.”
The event features dozens of firefighters and volunteers speaking up about their experiences regarding the attacks on 9/11.
Marcus Jones an aspiring firefighter, explains his appreciation for the Memorial Stair Climb and his thoughts on the terror attacks.
“This is actually my first time coming out here today,” Jones explains. “I thought this was a good opportunity for me to come out and pay my respects towards the memorial.”
Just like several others at the memorial, Jones had not lost anyone personally on 9/11 but still came out to show his support.
“It was a pretty big ordeal, I remember being in my highschool english class when 9/11 happened,” Jones said. “It was just crazy, they cut on the TV’s and everything was in complete chaos, to say the least.”
“I really appreciate that the city organizes this event,” Jones stated. “Otherwise I would for sure find another community event to go to, since this is a very big deal to me and I wouldn’t know how to put anything together myself.”
Firefighters Christopher Bruce and Josh Bryan are two of many who organize the event yearly. They intend on continuing it every year, and are working on expanding the memorial.
“The fire service is kind of like a brotherhood,” Bryan states. “We all stay together and even the ones you don’t know, you look at them like brothers.”
“I definitely agree with Josh, I don’t think there is a better way to put it,” Bruce said. “We are doing our best to try and bring out more people every year. We are thinking about widening our advertisement approaches so that more people can come out and join us in honoring those that died on 9/11.”
Christopher Bruce is one of the many American’s that lost a family member because of 9/11.
“My uncle’s sister died on 9/11,” Bruce said. “She was in one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.”
Bruce explains that although he lost someone close to him because of the attacks, he would have still came out to the memorial regardless.
“Even if I had not lost a relative,” Bruce said, “I still feel like it is important to acknowledge and honor the people who lost their lives because of [9/11].”