KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Firefighters from across East Tennessee will be coming to downtown to participate in the Knoxville 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. The annual event is a way for firefighters and other first responders to honor and remember those who gave their lives on 9/11.
Participants will climb the equivalent of 110 stories of the World Trade Center. Each person will also wear the badge of a fallen firefighter. Knoxville’s event is one of nearly 50 taking place in cities across the United States.
The first stair climb was held in Colorado on Sept. 11, 2005, when five Denver firefighters climbed 110 flights of stairs in memory of firefighters killed in the terrorist attacks. Each following year, attendance grew, until it was capped at 343 participants in 2008. In 2010, the original Denver team partnered with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to create a template to bring the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb anywhere in the United States.
The event is open to any first responder. So far more than 140 first responders have signed up for this year’s Knoxville climb. To register, visit the Memorial Stair Climb website or register at 7:15 a.m. Saturday at the Sunsphere in World’s Fair Park.