With this year being the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, Rebecca wanted to participate in the annual stair climb that they do in downtown Greensboro each year. The memorial climb honors not only the first responders that gave their lives that day, but also the 911 operators who handled the thousands of calls that came in, not only from people on the street, but people trapped in the burning towers. Before the stair climb began, they played a moving song/montage of recorded 911 calls from that day and many of them were trapped people asking the operators to pass along final messages to their loved ones.
This is Sandy, Rebecca's kick-butt fitness instructor (she literally kicks Rebecca's butt every week...) and also a 911 operator. She's the one who talked Rebecca into doing the stair climb, not that it took much convincing. :)
In order to equal the climb that the firefighters had to make on that fateful day, the participants had to make 12 round trips. They had to climb these stairs, cross the top of the parking deck and then come down the car ramp on the other side.
The kids were blown away by how big the flag was.
The older three decided they wanted to participate, so when we went to register them, they were each given a firefighter's name and company info to pin to their shirts.
After a number of heartfelt speeches, they had a trumpeter play Taps.
And then it was time to go.
The Greensboro Fire Department started everyone off. It amazing how they were able to do that in full gear! It was not a cool day and I can only imagine they were much hotter than we were.
The kids watched as the first folks slowly made their way to the top.
And then it was their turn! They all went up with no problem.
Olivia was the first down.
Followed shortly by Mama and the boys. At this point the boys dropped out. Olivia went a couple more times and then we walked to the new playground they built downtown while Rebecca finished her remaining trips.
That way, even the littles got some great exercise. :)
The kids know what happened on 9/11, but we've never shown them the footage of that day. When they're older, we definitely will.