Fairbanks community remembers 9/11 with Carlson Center stair climb

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 4:17 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11, local first responders and community members gathered at the Carlson Center to put themselves in the shoes of those firefighters who climbed the World Trade Center that fateful day.

1,980 steps. 110 floors. That’s what firefighters faced on September 11th, 2001 in a heroic effort to save the lives of civilians trapped in the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Roger Stevener, Fire Chief at Fairbanks International Airport explained, “This stair climb event is to commemorate the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and to honor the first responders from all the job classes, firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics who perished during those attacks trying to save others.”

Fairbanks traditionally holds a memorial service in honor of the occasion. Stevener said, “We have seen, over the last 20 years, the attendance start to waver as time goes on and life goes on and people forget, and we didn’t want that to happen.”

Across the country, stair climbing events like this one have happened for years. “I wanted to find a way to bring all of the area departments together, the community together and to increase the remembrance of the terrorist attacks and the sacrifices that they made,” Stevener said.

More than 175 Fairbanksans made 40 laps up the Carlson Center’s steps in solidarity with the heroes of that day. “We’re ecstatic over the response that we’ve had from the community, from the sponsors within the community, and it’s quite a sight to see when they all started to climb at the same time,” Stevener said.

Firefighters donned full gear to make the climb. During the event, the names of all the fallen first responders from that day were read out, so that the nation never forgets those brave men and women who lost their lives.

On display were artifacts from ground zero, remnants of a lifechanging day.

Proceeds and donations from the event will go to benefit the survivors of fallen first responders both in the Fairbanks community and around the state.

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