First responders and other participants elevated fallen heroes Sunday (September 8) during the sixth annual Columbus 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. Close to 500 people climbed to the top of the Chase building in downtown Columbus five times to equal the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.

“First and foremost, I think it’s important to understand the sacrifice they went through on September 11th. It’s very humbling to go through something like this,” said Granville Twp. Fire Lt. Ryan Hussey. Hussey was among the firefighters fully suited in almost 80 pounds of equipment for the climb. He explained it was not only a physical test, but also a tribute to the conditions fallen firefighters would have encountered during September 11th.

“They went in there just like any other emergency like we all do in our communities every day,” he said. “They had no idea what they were walking into and the challenges that they were faced with.” The annual event is organized by and raises money for nonprofits 24-7 Commitment and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The organizations support families of current and fallen firefighters.

The 2019 climb aimed to raise $30,000 locally.

Others around the country are holding similar events during the 9/11 anniversary week.