On the eve of the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony, first responders from across the state are climbing to the top of Corning Tower to honor the brave firefighters, police officers, and paramedics who died on 9/11 and from illnesses related to the recovery efforts.
"Whether it be a police officer or firefighter, EMT, climb in their memory and bring attention to the event to make sure we never forget what happened," said Kyle Kearney, an Albany firefighter and one of the organizers of the event.
Kearney and fellow Albany firefighter Justin Brady organized the Capital Memorial Stair Climb. The two were joined by about 40 other firefighters, police officers, and EMTs, climbing with the name and picture of a fallen 9/11 first responder.
"We know that we obviously have more that are passing every single day from 9/11 cancers and we want to honor those people," Brady said.
In this inaugural event, first responders are climbing the Corning Tower twice for a total of 84 floors.
"We figured it was more closely aligned with the actual flights that were climbed by first responders on that day," Brady said.
In addition, the event is also raising money for the Albany Fire Department Brother's Keeper Foundation. First responders finished their climb by ringing a bell and reading the name of their fallen hero.
"The fact that they're wearing that person's photograph and that person's name around their neck when they're climbing, it's a consistent reminder they climb so we're climbing in their memory," Kearney said.