Waxahachie Fire pump engineer Jason Eubanks touches a piece of steel from the World Trade Center as he takes part in the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday.
Waxahachie Fire Capt. Josh Anderson touches the piece of steel from the World Trade Center during the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday.
Maypearl Firefighter Nick Holder makes his way in the Renaissance Tower as a part of the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday. First responders climbed the building twice to equal the height of the World Trade Center.
First responders from around the country gathered for the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday. Firefighters from Waxahachie, Midlothian, Ennis and Maypearl took part in the climb.
Midlothian Fire engineer Scott Layne starts his climb during the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday.
Members of the Plano and Dallas Honor Guard pause for a moment of silence to honor fallen first responders during the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb.
Waxahachie firefighter Dusty Griffin makes his way into the Renaissance Tower as a part of the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday. First responders climbed the tower twice to equal the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.
Members of the Dallas Fire Department wheel a restored hose cart and bell to be used to honor fallen 9-11 first responders. The bell was sounded to honor their service.
New York firefighter Christopher Howard addresses first responders before they start the climb. Howard encouraged the group to learn about the men and women who died during the terrorist attacks and to share their stories with others.
Members of the Waxahachie Fire Department put on their bunker gear in preparation to climb 110 stories as a part of the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday.
The Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb had 569 departments represented at the event to honor first responders who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
Members of the Ennis Fire Department put on their bunker gear to climb 110 stories as a part of the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday.

DALLAS

Firefighters from Waxahachie, Midlothian, Ennis, and Maypearl joined with their brothers from around the country Saturday to memorialize the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

Groups of emergency responders climbed the Renaissance Tower in Dallas as a part of the 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb in a visual tribute to the fallen.

Before the climb, New York firefighter Christopher Howard spoke to the group about the importance of the day. Howard lost his father, George Howard, a Port Authority Police officer, in the attacks.

"Don't just make Sept. 11 another day. Remember the courage and the bravery shown by so many," Howard said. "Please make these stories that you pass along to others."

Howard encouraged the crowd to learn about the responders who gave everything to save the lives of people unknown to them.

Each participant in the climb represented one of the 343 firefighters, 70 law enforcement officers, and nine medical personnel killed during the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. They also represented the lives of the first responders who have died since being exposed to hazardous materials while working at Ground Zero.

Waxahachie Fire Lt. Scott Safford stated is humbling to be apart of an event like this that honors the courage displayed by so many.

"There are not a whole lot of memorials. So to physical put myself through the things that they had to do is an honor," Safford said. "The fire service is one big family and to see everyone come together to remember the fallen is an amazing site."

Climbers started their journey in the basement of the tower. After leaving the basement, they traveled up 54 stories to the top. Once they are rested, they made the journey all over again to equal the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.

Midlothian Fire engineer Scott Layne stated the climb put the tragedy in perspective.

"When 9-11 happened my dad was on shift that day, so it was kind of close to home to me with him working as a firefighter," Layne said. "I just want to finish for the guys that had to go through that."

Climbers carry the life of each person lost on a nametag around their neck, which lists the name along with a photo of the person killed in the line of duty. The tag also provides the climber with information about the person and what they left behind.

Upon reaching the top for the second time, the nametag is placed on a check-in board. The climber reads the name, and the tag is put on the board. A bell is then rung, which signals that the fallen first responder reached the top.

Ennis firefighter Kyle Slovak stated the event provides a unique perspective.

"Our whole shift decided to come together and come out here today," Slovak said. "It is really eye-opening to see everyone out here because you see how many people died that day."