9/11 Stairclimb Memorial Honors Fallen Firefighters


By Catalina Trivino

Alabamians spent the day remembering September 11 today with it's annual stairclimb memorial.

Everything from fire departments, military personnel even civilians from across Alabama who climbed 110 flights of stairs five times here at the RSA Tower in downtown Montgomery  in honor of those who died in the World Trade Center more than 12 years ago on September 11.

Hoover firefighter Cody Cothron is in full gear. He's carrying about 120 pounds of equipment including this hose listing the 343 firefighters who sacrificed their life on September 11, 2001. But it's thisname: Liutenant Michael Quilty -- who Cothron is holding dear to his heart -- he's a fallen firefighter and an inspiration.

"I just feel like they made an ultimate sacrifice and I just want to honor him and his family he was a great husband, a great father and a great fireman. And I just want to do everything I can to raise awareness about him and what he did," Said Cothron.

Cothron joins hundreds of other firefighters, EMS and military personnel climbing downtown Montgomery's RSA tower -- that's 110 flights of stairs five times -- equiviilent to the height of the World Trade Centers of New York.

"343 gave their lives. Why can't I walk 343 steps for them? I mean we were all there. We all saw it. Some younger didn't some did. I remember it. I'll never forget," Said Luke Henderson, from Walter Fire Department in Cullman.

Whether they were in full gear or no gear, climbers say the meaning behind each step was their motivation.

"I think everyone remembers. I remember exactly where I was at and the feeling. You just kind of went numb and in disbelief, and then the courage people showed that day... it was just... it made you proud to be an American," Said Tony Mitchell from the Snowden Volunteer Fire Department.

All the money raised will go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and those funds will be spread amongst families of fallen firefighters.

This was the second year the stairclimb was held. It was hosted by the Pike Road Volunteer Fire Department.