First responders climb 110 floors to “never forget” 9/11 Saturday

First+responders+from+all+over+Texas+and+the+U.S.+get+ready+to+start+their+climb+for+the+Dallas+9%2F11+Memorial+Stair+Climb+at+the+Renaissance+Tower+in+Dallas.+First+responders+climbed+110+flights+of+stairs+on+Saturday+to+remember+those+who+died+resulting+from+the+Sept.+11%2C+2001+attacks+in+New+York.
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First responders climb 110 floors to “never forget” 9/11 Saturday

First responders from all over Texas and the U.S. get ready to start their climb for the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the Renaissance Tower in Dallas. First responders climbed 110 flights of stairs on Saturday to remember those who died resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York.

First responders from all over Texas and the U.S. get ready to start their climb for the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the Renaissance Tower in Dallas. First responders climbed 110 flights of stairs on Saturday to remember those who died resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York.

Neha Desaraju

First responders from all over Texas and the U.S. get ready to start their climb for the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the Renaissance Tower in Dallas. First responders climbed 110 flights of stairs on Saturday to remember those who died resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York.

Neha Desaraju

Neha Desaraju

First responders from all over Texas and the U.S. get ready to start their climb for the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the Renaissance Tower in Dallas. First responders climbed 110 flights of stairs on Saturday to remember those who died resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York.

Neha Desaraju, Student Life Editor

DALLAS – The street in front of the Renaissance Tower is lively in the warm morning as first responders and their families make their way into the ground floor of the fourth tallest building in Dallas. 

On Saturday, 343 firefighters, 70 police and 9 EMS climbed 110 flights of stairs at the Renaissance Tower in remembrance of the first responders who lost their lives due to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. 

The climb is organized by the 9/11 Dallas Memorial Climb. The Coppell Police Department contributed the largest number of police officers to the climb with 11 Coppell police officers climbing as part of the 70 police.

Neha Desaraju
The Renaissance Tower is the fourth tallest building in Dallas. First responders climb 110 flights of stairs in the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday at the Renaissance Tower to remember those who died resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York.

The climb began with an opening ceremony. The climbers then took to the stairs, taking the name of a first responder who died on that day or due to illness up with them. After reaching the 55th floor of the tower, the climbers went back down the elevator to climb a second time.

Every year, the Prosper Fire Department also displays  a piece of the World Trade Center at the event. Prosper fire rescue chief Stuart Blasingame attended the event to support Prosper firefighters at the event.

“It’s very surreal to be here, and it means a lot to us to honor those who gave their lives trying to save others,” Blasingame said.

Coppell fire paramedic Kyle Newsom climbed at the event.

“After the climb, I was tired but gratified,” Newsom said. “Before the climb, I was a little bit nervous and emotional. A bunch of firefighters died that day. It’s hard not to get emotional.”

First responders hung up one of the 422 names they climbed with and took pictures after their climb. Many climbed in full gear in order to replicate what the first responders had gone through on Sept. 11.

“It was hard, but I love that we’re doing this for a purpose, and that really drives me to get up the stairs,” Venus police officer Katie Drambareanu said. “There’s no other way I want to spend my first week of September than being here with all my brothers.

Neha Desaraju
First responders climb 110 flights of stairs at the Renaissance Tower in Dallas on Saturday at the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb to remember those who died resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York. Many climbed in full gear in order to replicate the conditions of first responders during the attacks.

Registration began in early June for the event and ended when all spots were filled. Alternates were able to climb as well but would not have a badge to take with them.

Plano firefighter John Barrett founded the event nine years ago after attending a similar climb in Indianapolis. He was inspired by a retired New York firefighter whose brother was killed on Sept. 11 and met many people through the event.

Neha Desaraju
A U.S. flag is hung in the lobby of the Renaissance Tower in Dallas with the faces of the first responders who died resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York. First responders climbed 110 flights of stairs at the Renaissance Tower for the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday to remember those who died.

While the event is to pay respects to those who sacrificed their lives as first responders on 9/11, Barrett emphasizes the event can be positive as it unifies people.

“It’s an honor to be a part of something that helps fulfill a promise to never forget,” Barrett said. “It’s not about politics anymore, it’s so that people can have a great time. It brings a lot of people together.”

Follow Neha on Twitter @nehades_.

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