Local first responders to commemorate 9/11 tower climb at Fort Worth’s City Center

First responders ready for the climb in 2022.

One of the darkest days in America will be remembered Saturday, Sept. 9, with the Second Annual 9/11 Memorial Tower Climb.

City Center Fort Worth will host the event featuring nearly 200 first responders, including City Center security, local police and fire departments, county sheriff’s officers and FBI agents. Participating departments will include, among others, Fort Worth, Lake Worth, Lancaster, Grand Prairie, North Richland Hills and Cresson.

The first responders will climb the stairs of the Bank of America Tower from the ground floor to the 36th floor three times to approximate the 110-story climb to the top of the New York World Trade Center that rescuers faced following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The event honors those who lost their lives that day, and each climber will wear a lanyard with a photo and name of a first responder who answered the call of duty at the World Trade Center. At least year’s event, many participants climbed the tower in full uniform, including some in full tactical or bunker gear.

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Of the 2,977 victims killed in the 2001 attacks, 415 were first responders, including 343 firefighters; 37 Port Authority and New Jersey police officers; 23 New York City police officers; eight private EMTs and paramedics; three New York State Court Officers; one New York Fire Patrol officer; and one FBI Special Agent.

Opening ceremonies on Saturday will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the climb getting underway shortly before 9 o’clock. The event is open to viewing by the public and there is no admission charge. There will be a designated seating area on Commerce Street for spectators to watch and cheer on the participants.

“We are pleased to host so many first responders and the community at City Center to honor and remember the ultimate sacrifice made by the fallen first responders on Sept. 11, 2001,” said Johnny Campbell, President and CEO of City Center Management. “In addition to our local police and fire department personnel, we are thrilled to have so many men and women representing departments from all across North Texas, such as Lake Worth, Lancaster, Grand Prairie, North Richland Hills, Cresson, and others.

“This climb is a solemn and significant occasion … we believe it’s important to continue to honor the dedication to duty and ultimate sacrifice these brave men and women witnessed at the World Trade Center, but also to rally around our local first responders and show our support for the sacrifice they continue to make for us every day.”

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City Center parking garage 2 is the best place to park for the event, organizers said. It is located at: 401 Calhoun St. An alternate address to access the parking garage is 401 Jones St. (a one way street going north). Parking in the garage is free on weekends.

Children are welcome to watch with their guardians as there will be a designated area for spectators on Commerce Street with a view of the doors the climbers will exit before resuming their climb in the stairwells.

City Center is located at 2nd Street and Commerce Street. Opening ceremonies will feature remarks by the following dignitaries:

  • Johnny Campbell, CEO, City Center Management.
  • Former Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
  • Elizabeth Beck, Fort Worth City Council Member, District 9.
  • Jeff Sapienza, 9/11 speaker, a retired member of the New York Fire Department who was in the city on 9/11).
  • Cliff Spain, chaplain of the Retired Firefighters Association.

Other activities include:

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8:43 a.m. – Pipe and drums

8:46 a.m. – Moment of silence commemorating the time  the World Trade Center North Tower was hit by American Airlines Flight 11. A pipe and drum band will play Amazing Grace following moment of silence.

8:47 a.m. – First responders begin their climb.

9:03 a.m. – Moment of silence commemorating time WTC South Tower hit by United Airlines Flight 175.

9:37 a.m. – Moment of silence commemorating time the Pentagon was hit by American Airlines Flight 77.

9:59 a.m. – Moment of silence commemorating collapse of the WTC South Tower.

10:03 a.m. – Moment of silence marking the time United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

10:28 a.m. – Moment of silence commemorating collapse of WTC North Tower.

Noon – Climb completed.