Hoover hosting their annual 9/11 event to honor the fallen firefighters

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 9:41 PM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - As we approach the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, several events including Hoover’s annual memorial stair climb are happening.

Hoover Police and Fire want you to come out and pay tribute to those brave men and women who risked their lives to save so many others.

Hoover Fire Chief Clay Bentley says each year they host this event to honor the citizens and first responders who lost their lives on that tragic day.

The climb to remember will begin shortly after the memorial ceremony. Participants will climb 110 floors - the same number of floors in the World Trade Center.

“343 New York City firefighters lost their lives that day and that’s really something that hits home to us,” Bentley said.

And so many others like Memphis firefighter Justin Richardson who says it’s something he’ll never forget.

“Being a firefighter myself now, its something that we do reflect on and its part of the job,” Richardson said. “When the tone goes off you have to answer the call regardless of what the call is, and we do it willingly.”

And that call takes a lot of training according to Nick Motta, a Northern Utah firefighter, who said the best way to honor these men and women is to continue to better ourselves as firefighters.

“Leave the fire service better than we found it and not let ourselves get comfortable, continue to challenge ourselves, train, progress and get better,” Motta said. “That’s really the only way it should be.”

Each year, several memorial events are held in honor of 9/11, but Virginia Beach firefighter Michael Saunders says for him it’s not just once a year - it’s every day.

“Every day that someone dies of cancer post 9/11, every day that someone is missing their loved one because they went into the twin towers, or they were on that plane, or they were on the ground when the planes hit,” Saunders said. “So, it’s just every day we do this, everyday we fight for our brotherhood and sisterhood.”

Chief Bentley said they have the upmost respect for those fallen firefighters.

Hoover’s climb to remember event will be held this Saturday at 9:00 a.m. at the Galleria.

Chief Bentley said over 100 people participated in the climb and they are hoping for more.

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