I first need to (or feel I need to) apologize for the delay in putting this post out. The Climb for the Fallen event took place last Sunday and my goal had originally been to put this out a day or two later. Not a week later. The only excuse I will offer is that what I do here with FES Tidbits (on here, facebook, twitter, google+, LinkedN) is all done on my own without assistance or help. While not currently employed, I am trying to look for work and also have family obligations and needs (including that of a husband who has a SCI.
This year marked what was, I believe, the third annual “Climb4TheFallen” in Tucson, Arizona.
The climb, which consists of an overall climb of a total of 110 steps, took place on September 14 at the Bank of the West building (5151 E. Broadway Blvd; Tucson, AZ).
This was my second year attending this event. One of the first things I noticed, over the course of the morning was that there was considerably less vendors as well as public attendees than there was last year. I am not the only to notice this fact as several other attendees commented on the same. Why the numbers were down from this year I cannot say but it was a bit disturbing to see, especially when you the consider the importance of such an event in keeping alive the memory of the 343 Firefighters & Paramedics, 70 Law Enforcement Officers, and over 2000 every day citizens who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Despite dwindling numbers from last year participants of the climb still received a fair amount of fan-fare as captured in this video:
Some of the Departments that participated in the climb were members of:
- Drexel Heights Fire
- Helmet Peak Fire (Facebook)
- Firefighters vs Autism (Facebook) (Twitter)
- Pima County Sheriff’s Office (Facebook) (Twitter)
- Golder Ranch Fire (Twitter)
- Tucson Police (Facebook) (Twitter)
- Green Valley Fire (Facebook)
- Rural Metro Fire (Facebook) (Twitter)
- Tucson Fire (Facebook) (Twitter)
- Avra Valley Fire
- Tucson Airport Fire (Facebok) (Twitter)
- South Tucson Fire
Speakers before the climb included Chief Johnson of Tucson Fire Department and a retired FDNY Firefighter Danny Rowen who is now a member of the Marana Police Department. If I had to pick out the single message that stood out the most from Mr. Rowen’s speech (and one that I believe is the heart of where all Firefighters and Police Officers stand) was, “I have to be there for you.” – Once a Firefighter always a firefighter. It is this desire to “be there for others that prompted the firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement officers to run into a building where others were running out.
As each the climb was completed and Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers rang the bell signifying “Final Alarm” each named the fallen for whom they were climbing, a reminder of those risked their lives attempting to save others. In the words of Chief Johnson, of Tucson Fire Department, “We had lost our innocence that day…. And wondered would we…. Would we feel safe again.” As the memory of that fateful day on September 11, 2001 fades away in the minds of many there are those who vow “Never to Forget!”
Here is a familiar site:
That I remember from last year’s event:
The final part of the climb was the ringing of the “final bell”. As each team of participants finished the climb of 110 steps they came down to ring that final bell, mentioning the names of those for whom they had been climbing.
These are not all the videos I got of the “final bell” (and I was not able to get videos of each and every climber) but here are a couple to give you an idea:
I am hoping, next year, to have better camera and recording equipment so i can capture more of what happens without worry of running out of memory and battery. I am also hoping that next year will see numbers of supporters more like what I saw last year (or higher). I will do my best to stay abreast of the Tucson Climb 4 the Fallen event next year (which will most likely be in September right around the same time – correlating with September 11) and share announcements of events on my various Social Media sites. Remember you can always follow The Climb 4 the Fallen Group to stay informed on their website, facebook, and twitter