A special 9/11 ceremony honoring first responders held Monday, Sept. 11 at Fire Station No. 4. Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News
Fifteen Wylie Fire-Rescue first responders climbed in Memorial Stair Climbs in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Kansas City last weekend in somber remembrance of the 343 firefighters, 70 policemen and nine emergency medical technicians who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
First responders who climbed in Dallas were Michael Ahlemeier, Ray Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Jacob Pryor, Travis Martinez, Kevin Scott and Landon Wiggs.
Climbing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma were Randall Barber, Tyler Butcher, John Hawkes, Hudson Harris, Evan Hawthorne, Patrick Hewitt, Jacob Miller, Carlos Puente, Cole Coburn, Lizz Coburn, Garrett Scamperle and Cory Watts.
Jimmy Johnston climbed in Kansas City.
This will be the 12th year for WF-R firefighter Randall Barber. Not only does he climb, he also takes the lead in making sure interested first responders know where to signup, go and stay for the events.
Barber said there was several new climbers this year: Butcher, Puente, Miller, Hawkes, Jackson, Wiggs, Pryor and Edson.
“Most climbs are inside buildings, so it stays air conditioned, but you get 343-plus people in a stair well it gets pretty warm,” Barber said. “Every firefighter in their career should experience it at least once.”
Two days later, Monday, Sept. 11, Wylie F-R held a 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at Fire Station No. 4 honoring their fellow first responders who were killed because of the events that happened that same day 22 years ago. The somber tribute featured the WF-R Honor Guard conducting a flag raising ceremony to half-staff and the WF-R Pipe and Drum Corps performing in front of the 9/11 remembrance sculpture.
“For me, it’s less about never forgetting,” WF-R Capt. Andrew Johnson said, after the Sept. 11 ceremony. “I know I’ll never forget, I don’t have to remind myself. It’s more about not letting it escape the future, making sure we are teaching these lessons to the younger firefighters. We can’t let it fade away.”
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