TUCSON – Here in Tucson, people got up early once again to honor those lost in the 9/11 attacks. The 5th Annual 9/11 Tower challenge was held at Arzona Stadium.
This year, because of the demand, the number of participants was expanded to1600 people, each with their own personal reason making the climb. For retired first responder John Pireiro the tragedy hit close to home.
“I’m actually from New York City, so it’s near and dear to my heart”, said Pineiro, “And I just want to honor people’s memories.”
For Paul Volpe the pictures of those lost, placed along the stadium steps, reminded him of the sacrifice those who died that day made.
“You walk up these steps and every five feet there is somebody who lost their life and it makes you remember the sacrifices that they made”, Volpe said, “It’s giving me tears in my eyes going up these steps looking at every picture and it’s a special time to be here.”
Each covered 2,071 steps, the same number of steps in each of the twin towers that came down 18 years ago. Many of the climbers are first responders, honoring the fallen, some, like Tucson firefighter, Brian Anguize, wearing their fire gear in honor of the firefighters who lost their lives that day.
“We just have a little bit of pain we endure today just to remember what they went through”, said Anguize, “Obviously it’s no anything close to what they did but it’s just something that helps our memory to put us in where they were at and just remember them.”