Memorial Stair Climb honors sacrifice of 9/11 firefighters
September 19, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 20, 2012) -- The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb was conducted at Arvin Cadet Physical Development Center Sept. 14 to remember and honor the 343 firefighters who died on Sept 11, 2001.
"The reason we remember the fallen firefighters with this type of event is because on that tragic day, when everyone else was running out of the World Trade Center Towers, the firefighters were running up the stairs," Class of 2013 Cadet Bryan Jake Robbins said. "We had over 60 people participate in the Stair Climb and we raised over $1,100 in donations for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation."
Robbins, the event organizer, said the goal was for each participant to climb a total of 1,980 stairs--equivalent of 110 stories which was the height of the World Trade Center towers. Several firefighters from the West Point Fire Department participated in the event.
"I have done 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb events in the past," Robbins said. "They are held throughout the country around 9/11 every year. However, due to school requirements, I was not able to make the one that was being held for New York. So after talking about it with a few of my company mates, they suggested that I just do one here at West Point. So that's what I started to do."
It began with an invitation for a few cadets to participate but the news spread within the Corps and dozens more asked to contribute.
"On the actual day of the Climb, I was really surprised how large of a turnout the event drew," Robbins said. "Several of my fellow cadets in my company volunteered to pass out water and Gatorade, work the donations table and help out with running the event."
Robbins said many of the climbers carried extra firefighters equipment, rucksacks or just random weights from the gym so they could get even more of a sense of the physical challenge that firefighters endured when they started their climb up the World Trade Center Towers.
West Point Firefighter Mike Cronin and Robbins completed all 1,980 steps in full firefighter protective gear with equipment and air packs.
"The event was a huge success and I hope that West Point will be able to hold a Memorial Stair Climb event again next year," Robbins said.