SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – “We climb for the 343 who fell that day, for the 300 who died since,” retired fire chief Bobby Halton said. “We climb because we are dedicated to God and country!”
Hundreds of people from across the Ozarks gathered to remember the New York firefighters who died on September 11, 2001.
It happened at Plaster Student Union at Missouri State University.
This is the seventh year for the Springfield Area Memorial Stair Climb.
For years, the goal has been to get 343 firefighters climbing, that’s how many firefighters died on 9/11.
This year they finally accomplished that goal.
Nixa’s assistant fire chief Whitney Weaver coordinated the climb.
Weaver said reaching the goal number is an emotional achievement.
“It really is,” Weaver said. “It’s just such a great feeling to know that every firefighter is being carried. And what I mean is every one of the climbers carries a firefighter, a name badge, with one of the fallen from that day. And here around that third lap they’ll come down, they’ll read that name and they’ll ring that memorial bell again just to remember.”
Firefighters from five states participated in this morning’s climb.
In addition to climbing what ends up being 110 stories they raised money for the families of firefighters who were killed in the 9/11 terror attacks in New York.