PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A tradition that began in the wake of a national tragedy will continue this year.
The 9/11 memorial stair climb will take place on Saturday at LMCU Ballpark.
“Becoming apart of the fire service and doing this event this year is going to be even more moving than any event that I’ve done,” Therese Gach, Algoma Township firefighter, said. “I teach my children every year about this event because you never want to forget. So, coming here, walking these stairs, remembering the firefighters and first responders, it’s a really moving experience.”
More than 2,000 people lost their lives during the targeted attack on the World Trade Center. There were 343 New Nork firefighters who were killed while responding to the scene.
“I was in my sixth-grade class at Pine Street Elementary,” Cassie Kutzli, Algoma Township firefighter, said. “We turned the TVs on and it was a devastating sight to see.”
Every year, communities around the country honor the fallen firefighters by climbing 110 flights of stairs, signifying the route the first responders took at the World Trade Center.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. The opening ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. and the walk will begin shortly after.
It’s expected to end at noon with a pancake breakfast to follow.
“There is a $30 donation for adults (and) 18 and under is free. You do get a t-shirt before the event. The donation goes to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation. Teams also work to raise more money. The NFFF helps families that have passed away in the line of duty or for some other reason,” Jason Clauser, Algoma Township firefighter, said.
Lia Rose, 8, has raised nearly $500 to benefit the NFFF. She participated in the walk last year with her father who is an Algoma Township firefighter. Rose is looking forward to doing it again on Saturday.
“Now that I know more about the stair climb I know why we raise money… I feel good about it,” Rose said.