SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – “We will never forget 9/11.” Those were the words on the sleeves of shirts worn by firefighters from Kenedy, Texas who came to San Antonio for the 110 9/11 Memorial Climb Wednesday.
They joined about 2,000 other firefighters and civilians who climbed 952 steps at the Tower of the Americas, each wearing a badge with the name and photo of one of the first responders who died 18 years ago in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. Three-hundred-forty-three New York City firefighters were killed as they tried to rescue people trapped in the fiery inferno. More than 60 law enforcement officers also died at the World Trade Center.
Spencer Walker with the Luling Fire Department carried the photo of Walter Hynes, Ladder 13 Captain. It was Walker’s first time to participate in this event, climbing the stairs in full gear one month away from his 51st birthday.
“I do it in remembrance of those who lost their lives that day. A lot of people say they’ll never forget, but they do. I’ll always remember,” he told KTSA News.
This was the third 110 9/11 Memorial Climb for Johnny Rodriguez with the Kerrville Fire Department.
“It’s just to remind myself of what happened on 9/11 and to finish the climb that those firefighters didn’t get to finish that day,” Rodriguez said. He and many others climb to the top twice, which exceeds the equivalent of 110 floors at the World Trade Center.
Little Alaina Almanza and her family were there to support the child’s grandfather , Sam Garcia with the Bexar County District 2 Fire Department. Alaina was wearing a t-shirt that read,”My heart belongs to a firefighter.”
The San Antonio Pipes and Drums led a ceremony in the rain at the base of the Tower of the Americas before participants started their memorial climb.