ND Firefighters observe 9-11 anniversary with stair walk at the Capitol

Sep 11, 2015

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

More than 100 firefighters from across North Dakota gathered in Bismarck today to climb the stairs of the State Capitol.

It’s to remember those who lost their lives in the 9-11 attacks in 2001.

The firefighters gathered at the Capitol steps for a short ceremony. They then went inside, and in groups of six climbed the inside steps.

“So the event will involve people starting at the steps, at the bottom,” said Mandan firefighter Andrew Beck. “They’ll walk up 17 floors, take the elevator down, and because we need to get to 110, they will do that six times.”

Beck says each participant receivced a name badge with a photo of one of the firefighters lost in the 9-11 attacks.

“So they will be essentially climbing for that person,” said Beck

“Wearing a badge of someone who was actually there, and climbing 110 flights of stairs – it’s a pretty big thing," said Jordan Sivertson, who is also with the Mandan Fire Department. "Just a good thing to do in remembrance of it.”

Rachel Parson is from McClusky. Parson says 9-11 should never be forgotten.

“I’m in the military, too," said Parson. "And it means a lot to me. It’s our freedom, and a chance to give back to those who gave their lives for us.”

Beck says he hopes this becomes an annual event in North Dakota – not only to remember those who died in the World Trade Center.

“So we want to raise awareness that every year, there are firefighters who lose their life in the line of duty, and we need to do everything we can to both remember them, and learn what we can , and reduce the number of people that are dying.”

The event also raised money for the National Fallen Firefighters Association.

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public