On Wednesday, the 12th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, Austin firefighters honored the New York men and women who died that die by walking in their footsteps.
Dozens of firefighters marched up and down a practice tower until they had reached a distance equivalent to the top of the World Trade Center towers. That meant taking nine trips up and down six flights of stairs—a total of 108 flights in the Texas heat.
"I try to picture what those guys were doing," Capt. Marcus Faske with the Austin Fire Department said. "Lot of hard work, lot of screaming and they probably couldn't hear anything, but knowing what we're trained to do and what they're trained to do is get people out of the building."
The day after the attack, Capt. Faske began the tradition of climbing the Pleasant Valley Drill Tower.
Firefighters wear a full set of gear including an air pack and a hose bundle.
"This is physically and mentally pretty difficult," Lt. Jerry Cohen said.
Lt. Cohen participates every year. He says the day of remembrance is also a chance to unite.
"Out of this tragedy, good things happen and I get to see people that I probably wouldn't see for 10 years. I'm seeing them once a year," he said.
The names of the 343 firefighters were represented on dog tags. The Austin firefighters wore those tags as they climbed the stairs.
"Wish we wouldn't have to do something like this,” Capt. Faske said. “But I think we're doing the right thing."
Another ceremony was held Wednesday morning. Click the video below to watch it.
YNN: Austin firefighters mark Sept. 11 with ceremony
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