LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Though the tragedy of September 11, 2001 is a distant memory for some, each step taken Wednesday was a physical reminder of how big of an impact that day still holds.
Climbers were honoring not only the 403 first responders killed upholding their promise to protect and serve, but also first responders to this day suffering consequences more far-reaching than they could have imagined.
"We simulate what those men and women did on 9/11 trying to go up the towers to get the people out," Firefighter Todd Houston said.
Area first responders made two full trips up and down each staircase from Gate 4 to Gate 9 at Kroger Field equaling the 110 flights of stairs that first responders climbed 18 years ago.
Climbers who participated in the fifth annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb were honoring not only the 403 first responders killed upholding their promise to protect and serve, but also first responders to this day suffering consequences more far-reaching than they could have imagined.
"It’s not going to end,” Houston said. “There are civilians still passing away, steelworkers, all those people who went up there to help, they're getting sick and dying because of what happened 18 years ago.”
Some climbers signed up for a personal connection.
"There's a daughter of one of the firefighters that were killed in 9/11," Houston said.
Others were there for a professional one.
"We're all connected in what we do,” Houston said. “So, if someone passes away in another state, we go to their funerals, they come to our funerals, it truly is a brotherhood and sisterhood."
But, every climber was there for the same purpose.
"Eighteen years ago, we promised to never forget,” Houston said. “This is just one of the things we do to help keep that promise."
Community members were invited out Wednesday night as well to participate in the climb or just to cheer on the ones that did.