Natick hosting stair-climb challenge to honor first responders lost on 9/11
Pete Suh, an operations specialist for United States Army Garrison Natick, and Amber Black, a human resources technician with the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, climb steps Aug. 25, during a test run of the stair climb challenge taking place at ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 7, 2016) -- On Sept. 11, 2001, 411 first responders lost their lives while saving the lives of others.

Around our nation, countless organizations sponsor stair-climb events to symbolize the sacrifices that our first responders make every day.

With this in mind, planners at the Natick Soldier Systems Center would like to do their part in honoring those first responders lost on 9/11 by hosting their own stair-climb challenge ( on Sept. 9, 2016, immediately following the Patriot Day Ceremony, scheduled for 8:30 a.m.

"It's not a competition," said Pete Suh, an operations specialist for United States Army Garrison Natick, "but our end state is that if you can only do two or three (flights), you can walk out of that building and feel like, 'This was hard physically and mentally, and I can only imagine what those firefighters went through on 9/11.'"

Suh said the overarching goal is for people to participate in the event either as a relay or individually, but most importantly, to climb as much as they can.

"The point of it is that we all climbed," said Suh. "I am trying to radiate to the masses that this is for yourself and it's for you to have this physical remembrance of first responders, and there's nothing more to it than that."

Suh said they also want to signify a team being united.

"It's not a matter of how many flights of stairs that you climb; it's just a matter of doing it together and the significance behind it," said Suh.

Some of the first responders participating in the remembrance ceremony will also partake in the stair-climb challenge, which Suh said is a good opportunity for those first responders to be engaged by the workforce.

"You're going to make someone's day by physically going up to them and saying thank you for everything that they do and being genuine and open about it," said Suh. "That is going to motivate those (first responders) the next day and the next day, because in my opinion, they probably don't get the acknowledgement that they should on a daily basis."

Personnel of the workforce who would like to participate in the stair-climb challenge on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011, should plan to meet at the flag pole in front of Bldg. 1 at 9 a.m., immediately following the Patriot Day Ceremony.