SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The sound of shoes climbing up and down the stands at Missouri State University’s football stadium could be heard loud and proud Sunday morning.
Area first responders and members of the community came to honor and remember the 343 firefighters who lost their lives due to the 9/11 attacks.
Hundreds of participants climbed the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center for the Springfield Area Memorial Stair Climb.
Springfield Fire Department Captain, Christopher Roush, climbed the stairs in his firefighting gear.
“To me, a little bit of suffering is an easy way to remember how terrifying it must have been going up that stairwell and not knowing what you’re going into, not knowing if you’re coming back,” Roush said.
Springfield Memorial Stair Climb Coordinator, Jim Ludden, said every climber carries the name of a firefighter who lost their life.
“They’ll pass by and give memorial tribute to them by ringing the bell and saying their name and then signing their name on our hose bundle as they finish out the course,” Roush said.
Ludden said the stair climb event showed him, years ago, that he wanted to be involved with the fire service.
“When something happens to our family it touches home with us, and it’s no different in this case,” Ludden said. “Our families were murdered and it’s nothing least that we can do than to remember them these 20 years later.”
Ludden said people from all over the area participate in the stair climb that takes place in Springfield.
He said it’s a simple way for people to fulfill their promise to never forget what happened on Sept. 11.