Inaugural Capital Memorial Stair Climb held at Corning Tower

October 07, 2019 11:18 PM

ALBANY – First responders walked up the Corning Tower in Albany Monday night, twice.

It was for the first ever Capital Memorial Stair Climb. It’s to honor firefighters, police officers and EMTs who died on September 11, 2001.


Organizers said they held it on Monday, Oct. 7 because they wanted it to be held ahead of the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony on Tuesday.

“We thought this would be a good fit to kind of memorialize both events,” said Event Director Kyle Kearney.

First responders suited up in their gear to climb the 84 flights of stairs. People who aren’t first responders also participated in the event. People had to climb up to the observation deck at Corning Tower and take an elevator down to the first floor, and climb up again.

"The purpose being that's how far the firefighters, police officers, EMT personnel had to climb on September 11th in the World Trade Center to get to where the fire was, to get to where the people needed help,” explained Kearney. “So we want to climb because they climbed.”

The people climbing were not only honoring the firefighters, police officers and EMTs who lost their lives on Sept.11 2001, but also for those who continue to fight against 9/11 related cancers.

"I think that it kind of really hits home it makes you feel like you're kind of sharing in the experience that they might have had that day,” said Albany Firefighters Justin Brady. “I know that every guy that I work with would do the same thing."

Each person also had two tags on with a name and photo of a first responder they were climbing in honor of. When they completed the climb, they put one of the tags over a bell and rung it in honor of that person. They then kept the other tag so they remembered who they climbed for. All to symbolize to never forget that day 18 years ago.

"When I think of it I think of the fact that they did what I did that day, they got up and they went to work and that just breaks my heart to this day,” said Anna Johnson who participated.

The money raised from the event will stay in the community. The money will go to the Albany Fire Departments Brother’s Keeper Foundation, which helps residents in need in the Capital Region.

Kearney and Brady said they hope the event becomes an annual one and continues to grow in participants.


Emily De Vito

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