WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita’s 9/11 memorial stair climb brought nearly 300 firefighters to the Epic center Saturday. Locals stood by to watch each team of firefighters climb 110 flights of stairs with 100 lbs of gear on.
“This is about honoring the 344 firefighters that died during the 9/11 attacks.”
As soon as you pulled into the Epic Center, you saw dozens of American flags, followed by a line of bikers flying their flags into the parking lot. Firefighters assembled in groups and walked down the entry way of the Epic Center, shaking the hand of a patriot holding a flag, along the way. Each participant had a photo and a picture of a firefighter that died, on their gear. After the long climb, each first responder came down and announced who they were honoring.
The firefighters from Saturday’s event were from 60 different agencies including; Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
“Firefighters from around the region are climbing the same height of the World Trade Center tower,” explained Mark Miskek, marketing director. “Each is assigned one of 343 firefighters that passed away on 911, to climb in their honor.”
Each team of first responders stayed with their own group for the entire process.
“Firefighting is about team work,” said Jeremiah Conell, Olathe fireman. “So, we have our team. We all finish together, or we don’t finish. We just stick together and make sure everyone gets past the finish line.”