GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - All across the country, people are remembering the moment 18 years ago today when a terrorist attack left thousands dead. In South Mississippi, our country’s service members began the morning of 9/11 with a memorial stair climb in honor of the first responders who also gave their lives trying to save the victims.
NCBC Seabees in Gulfport climbed four flights of stairs 13 times each Wednesday morning. That’s the equivalent of 110 stories, which is how many flights of stairs New York firefighters climbed 18 years ago.
Many of them wore full and partial gear while climbing the stairs, honoring the selfless acts of the men and women who died trying to rescue people from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
“A lot of these people have specific ties to 9/11 or got deployed because of it. Just to come out and show their gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, you know," said Tom Littlefield with NCBC fitness.
Following the stair climb, the Naval Construction Battalion Command rang a bell over the loud speaker at 7:46 a.m. An hour ahead of us in New York, that’s the exact time the first American Airlines plane hit the World Trade Center’s North Tower.
A moment of silence stretching across the entire base was then held lasting 102 minutes, which signifies the amount of time from the first impact at the North Tower until the time it collapsed.
“I just had to represent the 9/11 firefighters and do our little part," said Demetrius Baldwin, an NCBC firefighter.
Various other memorial ceremonies and tributes are being held around South Mississippi on Wednesday. WLOX will have more coverage on each of them coming up later today.