Taking the day step by step: Bristol Motor Speedway hosts 9/11 climb

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BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Bristol community took the day step by step as about 500 people participated in a climb at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Stair Climbing Committee Coordinator Andrew Catron said it’s the seventh year of the event, and the second time it was held at the speedway.

“As I’ve become in the fire service and grown to known the brotherhood you have in such, everyone says that they will never forget 9/11,” Catron said. “Well, this is a way that we can show that they never forget.”

Those participating spent Saturday climbing 110 stories, one for each of the floors on the Twin Towers. George Peters was one of them. He’s a firefighter for the Town of Mosheim.

“I’ve done it since I was 14,” Peters said. “I just love serving the community.”

Among local firefighters, were police officers and community members who all came out to honor lives lost during that fateful day. Galen Godbey joined with a group from his gym.

“We have a number of members of our gym who are first responders. It’s a way to honor them and to remember,” Godbey said. “To hopefully define a more unifying purpose for why we exercise, and hopefully carry us through the storm where we exist now.”

Each climber was given a photo ID of one of the fallen heroes to carry with them.

Climbing became a time of reflection for some. Many remember where they were the day they heard the news.

“I remember I was sitting in my living room because I just graduated high school, and I saw the first tower hit, and they thought it was an accident,” Peters said, “Saw the second tower hit, and they knew it was more than that.”

“Snowglobe moments that you’ll never forget,” Godbey said. “Shock, uncertainty, fear, all of the above.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit the FDNY Counseling Services Units and programs provided by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

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