Union City, Tenn.—More than 60 firefighters and first responders around the region gathered at Discovery Park of America on Sat., Sept. 7 to participate in the 2019 Memorial Stair Climb, an event held around the country by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Firefighters each climbed all 13 floors of the 199-foot Barbara Lynn Tanner Cooper Tower—the tallest structure in Northwest Tennessee—10 times, wearing all their gear and carrying all the lifesaving equipment used in an actual emergency.
“As we climbed today, we were paying tribute to those who lost their lives on 9-11 while in the service of doing what they loved; helping others,” said Lieutenant Rick Stacks with the Union City, Tenn. Fire Department and an organizer of the climb. “Many were saved that day because of the selfless attitudes, dedication and fearless conviction by those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
As the firefighters climbed the stairs, Tony Keeton, pastor of Union City Baptist Temple and chaplain of the Union City Fire Department read the names of the 343 FDNY firefighters who gave their lives on 9-11 as their faces were projected on monitors.
Firefighters were cheered on from the ground by hundreds of Discovery Park staff and guests. Additionally, the walls to the top of the tower were decorated with art created by students from the Union City Elementary School and Hillcrest Elementary School. Some of the art will be displayed in and around The Tower until this Wed., Sept. 11, 2019.
“This is our second year to host the firefighters here for this event, and it’s something we all look forward to,” said Lauren Jones, events director at Discovery Park. “At Discovery Park, our mission is to inspire children and adults to see beyond and working with the community to pay tribute to the heroes of 9-11 is certainly a great example of that.”