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Photos: Austin Firefighters Commemorate 9/11 With Memorial Stair Climb

Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News
A firefighter makes his way down the Austin Fire Department's Pleasant Valley training tower.

On the 11th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Austin firefighters took part in a memorial stair climb to honor the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11. During the service at the Austin Fire Department’s Pleasant Valley training tower, 45 firefighters scaled the training tower's stairs nine times, roughly equaling the height of the World Trade Center.

"You know every one of those guys that died that day, they were just going to work that morning,” said Eric Novaez, an AFD firefighter who participated in today's service. “They had no idea what they were getting into, and I think that's the same with any firefighter who goes to work. You never know what the day's got in store for you so it's definitely worth remembering."

The climb was completed in silence to remember those firefighters who did not make it back out of the twin towers. Participants wore full gear, including air packs, hose bundles, and several silver dog tags, one for each of the 343. “All of us knew folks who went up there,” said Battalion Chief Randell Nations. “9/11 changed our fire service forever.”

Below, view a Flickr slideshow shot by Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News. 

Reshma Kirpalani works as a freelancer at KUT News.
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