On 20th anniversary of 9/11, annual stair climb remembers firefighters' sacrifice

  • Firefighters take part in The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation's National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 2019. Every October, the foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year.

    Firefighters take part in The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation's National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 2019. Every October, the foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. Courtesy of The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

 
 
Updated 8/5/2021 1:27 PM

We will never forget.

As a nation, we will always remember where we were when we heard about the airplanes hitting the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

 

We will remember watching on television as the south tower collapsed, soon to be followed by the north tower.

We will never forget the sight of the brave men and women of the New York fire and police departments running toward the destruction while others fled from it.

And we will never forget those men and women who died in the line of duty trying to save others.

Twenty years later, on Sept. 11, 2021, the Chicagoland Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb will continue to remember and pay tribute to the fallen, as well as those who continue to show medical effects from that day and the days that followed.

The event, which will take place at Soldier Field, helps fund the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which creates and maintains programs that support fire service survivors.

Lt. Roger D. Bayne Jr., with Addison Fire Protection District No. 1, co-chair of the Chicagoland Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb, discusses the upcoming event.

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Q: What is the Chicagoland Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb? Give a brief overview of the event.

A: The Chicagoland Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb allows participants to pay tribute to a FDNY firefighter by climbing or walking the equivalent of 110 stories of the World Trade Center.

Your individual tribute not only remembers the sacrifice of an FDNY brother, but symbolically completes their heroic journey to save others. Through firefighter and community participation, we ensure that each of the 343 firefighters is honored and that the world knows that we will never forget.

Chicagoland Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb helps the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation create and maintain programs that support fire service survivors. Your support of the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb event provides assistance to the surviving families and co-workers of the 343 firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on Sept. 11, 2001.

Courtesy of The National Fallen Firefighters FoundationFirefighters line up to deliver flags to fallen firefighters' families during the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in 2019. Thousands attend the weekend activities held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The weekend features special programs for families and co-workers, along with public ceremonies.
Courtesy of The National Fallen Firefighters FoundationFirefighters line up to deliver flags to fallen firefighters' families during the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in 2019. Thousands attend the weekend activities held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The weekend features special programs for families and co-workers, along with public ceremonies. -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It also supports Illinois local Fire Hero Families who lost a firefighter in the line of duty here in Illinois.

Q: What are the programs your fundraiser helps?

A: FDNY Counseling Services Unit; Fire Hero Programs; NFFF and Partner Scholarship Programs; Wellness Conference; Remembrance Program; Hal Bruno Camps for Children of Fallen Firefighters; programs for Young Adults; Memorial Weekend; Winter Family Retreat; National Fallen Firefighters Holiday Tree Lighting.

Q: Tell us how readers can participate in your event.

A: 2021 Chicagoland 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and Walk takes place Saturday, Sept. 11, at Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive, Chicago. Online registration will close Aug. 31.

On-site registration is at 8 a.m.; opening ceremony is at 9 a.m.; and climb takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There is a $50 registration fee. Stair climb team members will receive an honor badge and event T-shirt. You can also help fundraise to support the families of the fallen.

Parking is available on the Soldier Field Waldron Deck for $25. Carpooling is encouraged

Awards will be presented to the top three first responder fundraising teams, top three friends and family fundraising teams, top three corporate fundraising teams and top three individual fundraisers. Individuals who raise $110, $343, $500 or $1,000 will win prizes, too.

Q: How can readers help if they can't participate in the event?

A: Participants can make a donation to a team member or become a sponsor. Email rbayne@addisonfire.org or lhaiden@glensidefire.org for sponsorship information, or visit nfff.akaraisin.com/ui/chicagoland.

Q: What else would you like readers to know?

A: The United States Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to remember America's fallen firefighters.

Since 1992, the tax-exempt, nonprofit foundation has developed and expanded programs to honor our fallen fire heroes and assist their families and co-workers.

Courtesy of The National Fallen Firefighters FoundationEach October, The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. The Chicagoland Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb helps fund the foundation's programs.
Courtesy of The National Fallen Firefighters FoundationEach October, The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. The Chicagoland Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb helps fund the foundation's programs.

Our mission is to honor and remember America's fallen fire heroes and to provide resources to assist their families in rebuilding their lives and work within the fire service community to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries.

Each October, the foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year.

Thousands attend the weekend activities held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The weekend features special programs for families and co-workers, along with moving public ceremonies.

A grant from the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance supports programs for families of fallen firefighters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency partners with the foundation to sponsor many of the National Memorial Weekend activities.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology supports work on a national research agenda to prevent line-of-duty deaths and injuries.

• • •

The Chicagoland Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb

When: Saturday, Sept. 11. On-site registration is at 8 a.m.; opening ceremony is at 9 a.m.; and climb takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Online registration closes Aug. 31.

Where: Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive, Chicago

Cost: $50 registration fee; participants can also fundraise to support the families of fallen firefighters

Parking: Available on the Soldier Field Waldron Deck for $25; carpooling is encouraged

Details: Email rbayne@addisonfire.org or lhaiden@glensidefire.org for sponsorship information, or visit nfff.akaraisin.com/ui/chicagoland

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