Hundreds climb Red Rocks stairs to honor firefighters killed on 9/11

MORRISON, Colo. -- In 2005, five firefighters decided to climb 110 flights of stairs, the height of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, at a building in downtown Denver -- in full gear -- to honor the 343 New York City firefighters who died responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"I can't even imagine showing up on the first engine and seeing what they saw and going up those flights of stairs," said Kenny Storwold, a firefighter from Lafayette doing the climb wearing his full response gear.

"Every step I take I'm thinking about those guys that lost their life that day."

Now, each year, on the anniversary of the attacks, hundreds of firefighters and members of the community gather to climb the stairs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre as a tribute to the heroes who were killed in the line of duty at the World Trade Center.

"My daughter and I just do this every year," said Rebecca Fuller, an Inter Canyon firefighter. "To commemorate the men and women that gave their lives for our country in a terrorist attack."

The route at Red Rocks is designed to equate to 110 stories, according to organizers. Participants begin at the upper south parking lot, climb the south ramp and do nine laps inside the amphitheatre.

"This is supporting something bigger than us," said Joe Thomas, a Buckley firefighter. "This is about the brotherhood of fire and emergency services community come out here to remember those that came before us."

"Together, we will honor those who sacrificed their lives on September 11, 2001, and help support the families who survived them," organizers said on the event's website.

"It wasn't just a sacrifice for your fellow firefighter or the people you're serving it was for your country that day ," said Laurie Brill, a Golden Gate fighter.

Last year, 1,800 climbers helped raise $74,000, organizers said. They estimate that number will go much higher when they tabulate this year's efforts.