PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of first responders in West Michigan took part in the annual Grand Rapids 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb Saturday morning at Fifth Third Ballpark.
They climbed 100 stories to signify the 110 flights of stairs at the World Trade Center.
“We’re taking some time to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of those who made the trip up the stairs,” said Trent Heaton, the organizer of the event.
Heaton says it’s important to never forget what happened, especially during a year like 2020.
“This is a year where a lot has been brought up that has been divisive. That has been hard on a lot of people. So as we’re dealing with the natural friction that we’re experiencing in our country, it’s amazing to have so many people turning out to be able to unify, come together,” said Heaton.
Heaton says this event is in its ninth year and the money raised goes towards the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to help families who lost love ones in the line of duty.
“It’s just giving our men and women an opportunity to be able to pitch in and be able to help as they often do — waking up at all hours of the day and night to serve our community, they’re doing it again here today at Fifth Third Ballpark,” said Heaton.
As the community mourns the loss of those who died, Heaton says it does give him hope about one thing.
“We’re just glad to have moments like these in a year like we’re having, to be able to come together and unify when a lot of things are tearing us apart,” said Heaton.