9/11 Memorial Stair Climb
On the morning of September 9, approximately 200 people participated in the 2017 Salt River 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, military veterans and civilians logged over 2,000 steps in their journey up and down the steps of the stadium.
Climbers, who signed up as teams or individuals, had a chance to stretch and warm up as they were welcomed and registered by volunteers. The Salt River Honor Guard posted colors for the national anthem. Guest speakers included Heather Jones, wife of fallen firefighter Luke Jones of Daisy Mountain Fire, who was killed earlier this year; and Bryan Jeffries, president of Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona.
The event, in its third year, was a chance for participants to remember and honor the New York Fire Department first responders who selflessly gave their lives on the morning of September 11, 2001. “As you run down these steps today and your heart is beating, I challenge each and every one of you to have a heart of a lion,” said Jefferies.
Several firefighters chose to wear their full gear while they climbed. All participants were given a tag with the name and picture of one of the fallen to carry with them as they symbolically completed their 110-story climb to the top of the World Trade Center. Those wishing to go the distance of both towers could walk the course two times. Most did.
The goal is to reach 343 firefighters, and they hope to do it next year.