Climbers climb 110 stairs to honor fallen first responders
COLUMBIA - More than 250 people filled Mizzou Arena on Saturday morning to honor first responders who died during the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
This is the third annual memorial stair climb where participants pay a $50 registration fee and fundraise to climb.
While participants were climbing, they were wearing photos of the 412 first responders who died in the line of duty. As participants finished, they announced who they were climbing for and then rang The Fallen Bell.
Many of the firefighters in the event wore their full gear; one even wore an airpack.
Shawn Pettigrew with the Fulton Fire Department said he felt it was his duty to start the tradition of wearing all the names during the climb.
"It's a tradition to write the fallen names of the 343 [firefighters] on it to commemorate those who have fallen Sept. 11, 2001. I felt it was my duty and my time to start this tradition and do it myself," he said.
All of the money that is raised above operating costs goes to two charities: Safety Net of Missouri, which provides support to families of first responders who have died in the line of duty, and the Firefighters Cancer Support Network.
Tommy Goran, the event organizer, said as the years go on, there will still be more spots to fill to be able to honor all of the fallen.
"It's only going to get bigger and better," he said.