In has happened every September 11th since the tragic attack on the World Trade Center. At exactly 8:46am, the moment when the first hijacked plane struck the Twin Towers in 2001, firefighters around the nation begin their yearly ritual.
In stadiums, public buildings and, in some cases, on the StairMasters at their gyms, the first responders walk up 110 flights of stairs. And they do this dressed in full firefighting gear.
This tradition is meant to honor the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty that terrible day. The 110 flight-climb is meant to simulate the unbelievable distance those heroic men and women had to travel inside the World Trade Center that day.
They do this every year to mark the somber occasion, and this past 9/11 was no different.
Chelsea Renee Farmer was enjoying her morning workout at a Planet Fitness in Georgia on Tuesday, when she saw two firefighters on the StairMaster. They were fully suited, which can add up to 45 lbs.
“They started at 8:46 a.m. Two firefighters at my gym walking all 110 stories of the World Trade Center and back down in remembrance of 9/11 and to honor all the fallen heroes,” Farmer wrote when she shared the video on Facebook.
The video soon received over 100,000 likes and shares, prompting many to praise the meaningful tribute.
The firefighters belong to the Houston County fire department.
According to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the tradition began in 2005 when five Colorado firefighters met up at a high-rise building in downtown Denver to climb 110 flights to pay tribute. They called it the “9-11 Memorial Stair Climb.”
And on Tuesday, the tribute was repeated over and over across the country.
In Vermont, a group of firefighters climbed the stairs at a parking garage at the Burlington International Airport 18 times.
In Denver, firefighters and first responders walked up and down the stairs at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre nine times.
And in Sacramento, California, first responders climbed the stairs at the Renaissance Tower Building, which has the same number of stairs that the World Trade Center towers had.
Once they got to the top, they placed the names of the fallen heroes in a small replica of the towers and rang a memorial bell.