A huge turnout today at the 6th annual New Hampshire 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb in Downtown Manchester. More than 400 people—including firefighters from across the region—are climbing the stairs of the Brady Sullivan Tower five and half times. It represents the 11 stories of the Twin Towers in NYC where 343 firefighters died.
For 23-year-old firefighters Travis Gray and Colton Peledieu, this is their 1st Memorial climb.
“I’m very nervous for this. I’m not really sure what to expect. 110 floors is a lot,” says Gray.
While they were only in 4th grade at the time of the attacks, both say it inspired them to become firefighters.
“Seeing all those firefighters rush in selflessly saving everybody, I knew at a very young age that it was something I wanted to do,” says Peledieu.
In honor of those who died, they’re taking on this grueling challenge in full gear.
“I think it would let my brothers and sisters down if I didn’t wear full gear,” says Travis.
“This is how they did it that day, this is how we’re going to do it today,” says Peledieu.
Rocco Caprarello, Station Manager for AMR in Manchester is ready and waiting for anyone who needs help.
“It’s humid today, I mean it’s cool but the humidity is high, so they’re going to be working.”
Two candidates in Tuesday’s Primary tells us why they also took part.
“I’ve done it every year to remember our first responders,” says Senator Kelly Ayotte. She adds, “We lost 343 firefighters on 9/11 and almost 3 thousand Americans, and so to remember what they did on our behalf, to never forget their service and sacrifice, and to know that on 9/11 they attacked us, but we came together as a nation, and our first responders represent the very best of us.”
“It’s still a dangerous world and we could still be called upon to sacrifice and that’s why remembering is so important,” says Rich Ashooh, 1st Congressional District GOP Candidate.
If or when that day comes, firefighters Gray and Peledieu will be ready.
“It was a lot of work, it was a lot of fun,” says Gray. Peledieu adds,” It’s very similar to being on a fire scene. You kind of have to keep your head down, and just go for it. Keep going no matter how bad it hurts, how much you’re sweating, how tired you are—you’ve got to keep going because they did.”
As of early Sunday morning, $25,000 dollars has been raised for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation—twice as much as last year. Click here to learn more about the foundation.