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Aug. 30, 2023

Northwest to pay tribute to fallen firefighters with 9/11 stair climb event

By Georgia McGonigle, communication assistant

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Northwest Missouri State University is honoring the firefighters, police officers and other emergency responders who heroically lost their lives on 9/11 by hosting its annual 9/11 Stair Climb.

Local firefighters participated in Northwest's 9/11 Stair Climb last year. (Photo by Abigayle Rush/Northwest Missouri State University)

Local firefighters participated in Northwest's 9/11 Stair Climb last year. (Photo by Abigayle Rush/Northwest Missouri State University)

The Northwest community is invited to participate in the 2,017-step challenge from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at the Bearcat Stadium. Participants, who may register free of charge at the event and must sign a waiver upon arrival, have the option of climbing individually or dividing the steps among a group of two to five people.

Northwest hosts the annual event in collaboration with the Maryville Fire Department, Show Me Gold Program and the Student Veteran Association (SVA).

SVA President Allison Martin, who is a Northwest graduate student studying applied health and sport sciences, believes the stair climb is an important event that not only brings the community together to remember the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks but also helps educate students about the impacts of that tragic day.

“When 9/11 actually happened, they rolled the TV out and we watched the second plane hit the towers,” Martin said. “A lot of that history and remembrance is getting lost through the generations. Students don’t understand the impact that it had on our country and on the world as a whole.”

The Maryville Fire Department will start the event with a bell ceremony and moment of silence. Northwest also will play footage of the events of 9/11 on the Bearcat Stadium video board.

Additionally, the Memorial Bell Tower, located at the center of the Northwest campus, will chime at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m. and 10:03 a.m., marking the times that each of the four planes crashed on 9/11. 

On Sept. 11, 2001, militants hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States, flying two planes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City, a third into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A total of 2,996 people died during the attacks, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were attempting to evacuate the buildings and save others who had been injured.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215