Roanoke community joins firefighters in 8th annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

Climbers would go up 110 flights of stairs to recognize first responders who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001

ROANOKE, Va. – City and county firefighters were joined by other law enforcement and the community for a climb of 110 flights of stairs honoring lives lost on 9/11 during the eighth year of the Roanoke 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.

This year’s climb was at the Wells Fargo building, which only has 22 floors, meaning the climbers would go up five times to achieve all 110 flights.

Rachel Hale with Roanoke City Fire Department, said it’s all about remembering the bravery of first responders that day.

“So everybody’s out today to remember and celebrate one of the greatest acts of courage and heroism in recent history,” Hale said.

Hale also mentioned how important it is for firefighters to be joined by members of the community.

“Everyone just really appreciates when the public comes out and shows their support and this is a really great way to do it,” Hale said.

Randy Cordell came out from Nashville Tennessee to join Saturday’s event, and after completing his climb, he was feeling pretty good.

“I’ll feel it later I’m sure. Right now I’m not really tired,” Cordell said.

Many of the firefighters dress in full gear. This commonly adds around 45 extra pounds.

“Man I just got total respect for the firefighters. They sacrifice so much and it’s so much harder for them with that gear on than it is … I’m not dressed with any gear at all and it’s still a tough climb,” Cordell said.

All climbers carried along a badge or multiple badges of a first responder who lost his or her life on Sept. 11, 2001.

After finishing their climb, they would call out the name on the badge and ring a bell symbolizing the end of the mission.


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Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.