A Converse firefighter bows his head during a prayer. Photo by Scott Ball.
A Converse firefighter bows his head during a prayer. Photo by Scott Ball.

Friday marks the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people. It’s impossible to ignore the many ways the U.S. has changed since that day, perhaps the most historic event of my lifetime. San Antonio honors the sacrifice and selflessness of the brave first responders during the San Antonio 110 9/11 Memorial Climb. The symbolic climb of the steps of the Tower of the Americas serves as more than a memorial. It’s also a way for first responders from across the region to come together as a cohesive team every year on this day.

The stairs leading up the tower are tight, steep, and dark. I have to think it’s somewhat reminiscent of the same environment the New York first responders encountered, not knowing if they would make the trip back down. (See photo gallery above.) The World Trade Center Towers each had 110 floors, so local participants climb the Tower of the Americas stairs twice to meet and exceed that height.

Meanwhile at the downtown Public Safety Headquarters on Nueva Street, Fire Station 11 created a memorial in honor of the anniversary that was unveiled by San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood and Station 11’s Captain Luke Schott. The memorial focuses on a salvaged piece of iron from the World Trade Center.  While the memorial is not open to the public, Hood said he would like to find a way for the public to have scheduled visitations.

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Scott Ball

Scott Ball is San Antonio Report's photo editor and grew up in San Antonio.