THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Folks in Thomasville gathered early Thursday morning to honor the service men and women we lost thirteen years ago today.
The Thomasville YMCA partnered with the Thomasville Professional Firefighter Association to host a memorial climb. Participants climbed stairs at a high school football stadium to simulate climbing the towers.
The sun was just coming up as almost two hundred people finished climbing eleven stories worth of stadium stairs.
"We got here at six in the morning to climb. We did the whole thing! One hundred and forty four stairs," said Kelly Martinez.
Folks came together at Thomas County Central High School to pay tribute to the firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical personnel we lost on September 11, 2001.
"There's been all kinds of feelings. There's been some crying. I had one in the parking lot who couldn't get out of his car... just because of this emotional event," said Kim Smith.
Participants walked or ran with memories of the victims close to their hearts. Each climber wore a picture of a fallen serviceman around their necks.
"These are people that died and that gave their lives for our country. I think it's important that we remember them and cherish the memory of their lives," said Martinez.
And while they climbed-- sound from the last radio transmissions from the firemen inside the second tower echoed.
"They made it to the seventy eighth floor. And then that was it. That's when the second plane hit them and we lost them. But they were trapped in a stairwell; some where trapped in an elevator. So you can hear them talking back and forth," said Derek Knight.
This is the first year Thomasville YMCA has sponsored this event-- but it won't be the last.
"We're doing it every year and we plan on doubling it every year. This year we had two hundred and we're hoping for four hundred next year," said Smith.
Money collected at the memorial climb will go towards the Thomasville Firefighter Memorial.