CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - They’re climbing for a good cause: Remember the fallen.
Early Sunday morning hundreds arrived at One Cleveland Center for the first Tunnel to Towers Climb to honor and remember the First Responders and members of the military who gave the ultimate sacrifice on that horrific day.
“To support the First Responders that did this for us on 9/11,” said participant Ken Marvar when asked why he participated.
The foundation was started by the family of New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on Sept. 11. He ran from Brooklyn through Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center to help rescue thousands.
Siller’s family started the run to retrace his steps on 9/11/01 and to raise money and awareness for charity.
“We honor the sacrifice of Stephen and we honor all the lives that were lost that day by doing this events like this and remembering 9/11," organizers said.
Firefighter Jason Bostic said he’s done the Tunnel to Towers climb all over the United States and is honored to do this one here at home with his son Jonas.
“You think about a lot of what happened on that day, the perspective, what you’re climbing for, every step, the time marks of that morning September 11 and remembering everyone who was lost that day," said Bostic.
“I’ll be thinking about just some of my friends and thinking about how I should do this," added Jonas.
After a short presentation and the national anthem, civilians and First Responders entered the building and began the long climb up. There are 31 floors in the One Cleveland Center—about 770 steps—and many of the firefighters climbed with 65 lbs. of gear.
The first firefighter reached the 31st floor and crossed the finish line in five minutes and three seconds. There were people all along the way cheering them on.
Bostic and son Jonas finished the climb and said this is a meaningful way to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“We can’t forget and we need to make sure future generations know what this is about because they were born after this happened and if you don’t tell them, it will be forgotten," said Bostic.