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Step Up for Heroes honors those who lost their lives on 9/11

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.

In recognition of that, the Sioux Falls Firefighters Association held their seventh annual Step Up for Heroes event. Firefighters, law enforcement, and members of the community came out to Sioux Falls Arena to climb 110 flights of stairs to remember those who lost their lives trying to save as many lives as possible.

The 110 flights of stairs represent the number of stairs firefighters had to climb to helps those trapped in the towers.

“As I’m going up, I’m just thinking about what those guys had to go through, we come here going up and down and it ends up being lighthearted, but they went up into a building not knowing the conditions,” said Luke Smidt, a Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Firefighter.

For those who took part in the climb this year, they saw a breakdown of that day’s events.

“As we climb you think about what it was like for those guys on that day, those guys and gals climbing those flights,” said Ian Stark, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Captain. “We have reminders around the stair climb this year to tell you the time frame of those events.”

For the firefighters, 9/11 represents a time to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It represents 343 firefighters that sacrificed their lives to climb those towers to evacuate people, as people were running out, they were running in to save more people, it’s a day of remembrance about what this job is about,” said Stark.

Today is not only a day to honor those who lost their lives, but their families as well.

“Because it’s 20 years now, kids whose parents went in there and never came home, their adults, so making sure we can remember them and continue to give them support the further we get out is especially important,” said Smidt.

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