FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas ROTC students paid tribute to the first responders and victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by hosting its 9th annual Memorial Stair Climb.
Nearly 3000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks and 20 years later they are not forgotten. Thursday, local cadets and law enforcement climbed the Razorback stadium stairs in honor of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The memorial kicked off at 5 in the morning inside the Razorback stadium, in Fayetteville.
Cadet Battalion Commander of the university’s ROTC program, Jasmine Hitke says this year’s memorial was even more special because it commemorates the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.
They climbed the steps in the stadium to represent the 110 flights of stairs of the world trade center. Some were in full gear just like the fallen heroes were.
Tell me why you decided to host a memorial stair climb?
“We wanted to choose this to represent the 110 flights of stairs climbed by first responders that day. We are doing 110 flights of stairs. We are going up and down the bleachers about 4 times to get the number of flights of stairs that were climbed,” said Hitke.
Now I did see some folks in full gear?
“That is to represent the bodyweight or that gear that first responders were carrying that day. So our firefighters are wearing their full kit, police were also in full gear. As far as the army we had on to represent the weight of the same gear that they would have carried as well,” said Hitke.
What does it mean to you to be out here today?
“It is just to pay our respects and remember those fallen soldiers of 9/11.
Hitke says that if you weren’t able to make it out Thursday, you can still participate. Find a set of stairs or a stair master in your gym for example. She adds that you can do it on your own and still pay your respects.
Over 200 people participated in the memorial stair climb.