Fallen 911 First Responders Memorialized in Anniversary Tower Climb
September 11, 2001, was a watershed day, one that will not be forgotten by any who witnessed its events. Many brave men and women sacrificed their lives in service to others. To commemorate those who were lost, local first responders will gathered on the anniversary to participate in a memorial climb. They climbed the stairs of San Antonio’s Tower of The Americas not once, but twice, to reach and exceed the 110 floors of the World Trade Center in which the heroes perished.
There is a reason the tribute event was not a 5k, a bike ride, or any other type of event, according to Dawn Solinski, Founder/Director of San Antonio 110 9/11 Memorial Climb. Participants climb 110 floors to pay tribute to the climb that 343 fallen firefighters made at the cost of their lives.
Local firefighters personally carried a tag with the identifying name and photo of each one of the 343 fallen firefighters who went into the WTC towers and climbed to save others. Other law enforcement officers did likewise to memorialize the 70 police officers and 9 EMS personnel lost.
“We will complete these climbs for them, and their tag will be placed on an accountability board when finished,” Solinski said.
The San Antonio 110 is one of the largest 9/11 Memorial Climbs in the country. “SA110 is special as it was open to the public, for friends and family to come and pay respect to the losses of 9/11, while still keeping true to the 110 purpose for our brotherhood,” she added. SA110 also honors recent Firefighter LODD (Line Of Duty Deaths) during the opening ceremony. Last year Casey Turk, Danny Vera, and Todd “Woody” Woodcock were recognized with moments of silence, and badges were placed on the honor board for them. This year SAFD’s Scott Deem will be memorialized.
In the past, the climb has attracted approximately 500 first responders and encompassed at least 50 different agencies, Solinski said.
Check in began at 6 – 7:20 a.m., after which a solemn memorial was held before climbing, to dedicate the climb to those who perished. At 8:46 a.m., the time of the first tower strike, bells will be tolled and the firefighters, followed by other first responders and civilians, entered the tower to climb. This physical climb was a grueling feat and a fitting honor and tribute to their brethren.
Volunteers lead the SA110, which is completely supported by community and participant donations and sponsorships. Any additional proceeds benefited the Association Of Memorial Stair Climbs.
“It is an honor to be able to help give back to an organization that helps to continually ensure our fallen are not forgotten,” Solinski said.