SAN ANTONIO – Two local firefighters and a civilian paid tribute to the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks at the 2017 McAllen and San Antonio Stair Climb Memorials.
Alice and San Diego Firefighter Robert Valdez climbed the stairs Monday in San Antonio. This is Robert's second year participating in the memorial.
“I decided to do both memorials back to back, this year, to really experience the different ways that the first responders are remembered as you see people of all walks of life united,” Firefighter Robert stated. “”I also climb to ensure that those fallen fighters are never forgotten.”
In McAllen, Robert was joined by San Diego Fire Department Chief Matt Valdez and Lisa Garcia Valdez, Robert Valdez's wife, to climb the 110 stairs in memory of firefighters on Sunday.
Chief Matt Valdez has participated in the event for the last four years. This was Lisa's first year participating.
At the time of the 9/11 attacks, the World Trade Center buildings were the tallest in the world with 110 floors each. Participants climbed the Tower of America twice and the Neuhaus Tower six and a half times to complete the 110 flights of stairs.
Each participant honored fallen firefighters by remembering them. New York City Fire Department lost 343 firefighters including a chaplain, two paramedics and a fire marshal.
Both Robert and Matt climbed with their full gear just as the firefighters who rushed into the World Trade Centers did.
Robert climbed in memory of Michael Roberts, Engine 214, and Kenneth Marino, Rescue 1, Lisa climbed in memory of Joseph Rivelli Jr., Ladder 25, and Matt climbed in memory of Dennis Mulligan, Ladder 2.