CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Saturday morning, 100 fire fighters, police and military climbed the seating at Whataburger Field to honor the first responders of 9/11.
Each had the option to do 110 flights of stairs for each World Trade Center, 220 flights for both towers, or 440 flights.
“In the sun, in the bunker gear, it’s very hot but it’s nothing compared to the feeling of honoring them,” said Kassandra Goce, a firefighter II and paramedic for the Corpus Christi Fire Department.
Cadets from Flour Bluff NJROTC were at the event climbing as well and also handing out water to first responders.
“[It was] to show that the firefighters who climbed those stairs as they went up and down through the smoke and how hard it was for them,” Battalion Commander, Kamryn Bowman said.
They remembered that while people ran for safety on September 11, these men and women went toward the flames to save others--many never making it out that day.
“It means a lot coming out here to hurt for a little bit of time and sweat to show what they’ve given for their lives,” EMT student Jacob Olmeda said.
Before the climb, local refinery Lyondell Basell donated $5,000 to each the Corpus Christi Firefighter Relief & Outreach Foundation and the Corpus Christi Police Foundation. A new mural from local artist Jeremy Flores was also unveiled.
And at 8:59 a.m. and 9: 28 a.m., moments of silence for when each tower collapsed.
“I felt proud to wear this uniform,” a cadet with the Flour Bluff NJROTC said about bugling TAPS during the moment of silence. “I felt proud to represent the first responders that died and to remember them."
Those heroes from that day inspiring generations after them.
“It’s also a away to honor those who sacrifice everything every day.” Goce said. “We tend to forget a day to day what first responders and military do for us.”
“It makes us remember why got into this business but also it makes me remember what it is to be an American,” CCPD Assistant Police Chief David Blackmon said.
Climbers said the nation needs unity and support now more than ever.
“With everything going on in the world we need more people that are willing to give and help and be there at any given second,” Olmeda said.