Breaking News
More () »

Knoxville Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WBIR.com

Never forget: 9/11 Memorial Stair climb honors lives of first responders

East Tennessee firefighters & emergency responders will pay tribute to the lives lost in 9/11 by climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Wednesday marks 18 years since terrorists hijacked two airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center.

On that tragic day, more than 300 first responders died trying to save lives. Many more have suffered from health problems since. 

RELATED: Trump signs Sept. 11 victims' compensation fund extension

RELATED: 9/11 first responder Luis Alvarez dies after battle with cancer

East Tennessee firefighters and emergency responders will pay tribute to those lives lost with their annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb in downtown Knoxville.

The climb kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Some firefighters dress in full gear, with helmets, and tanks on their back and climb the steps of the Sunsphere, taking on the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.

RELATED: Events across East Tennessee planned to remember 9/11 eighteen years later

For some participants, each step can be an emotional experience. Each person will wear a badge bearing the name and picture of one of the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11.

RELATED: Volunteers gear up, climb Sunsphere in honor of 9/11 firefighters

RELATED: Remembering 9/11 across East Tennessee: A look back seventeen years later

In addition to the 343 firefighters, the 60 police officers and 10 EMS responders who died in those attacks are also honored.

Onsite registration is at 7:30 a.m. The climb event is open to firefighters, EMS, police, military and anyone qualified as a first responder.

Those wanting to participate who are not emergency responders can join in as a walker, or donate online.

All the money raised Wednesday will go to the National Firefighter's Association to help the children of those firefighters who responded on 9/11.