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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Community remembers 9/11 first responders in annual stair climb


San Marcos firefighters and Department of Public Safety officers walk down the steps of Bobcat Stadium in full uniform, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at the 2nd annual Hays County 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.

Clad in full uniform and carrying the weight of their gear as the morning suns rays beamed down on them, Hays County first responders completed a commemorative stair climb to honor those in their profession who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, on Sunday at Bobcat Stadium.
Twenty-one years after the attack on the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City, Sept. 11 is a day that holds emotions for many. Hays County first responders had the opportunity to remember the day and their fellow first responders who lost their lives that day by climbing up 110 flights of stairs at Bobcat Stadium at the second annual Hays County 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.
The stair climb began at 8:46 a.m., the time that the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, hit the north tower. The climb was open to firefighters, law enforcement, EMS and dispatchers across Hays County.
Firefighters like Aidan Campbell of the San Marcos Fire Department believe it is their duty to honor the victims by finishing the job that responders were unable to complete on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
“The job is to save lives and protect property,” Campbell said. “In order to show the respect that we have for the firefighters and police officers on 9/11, we showed that we can do the job too, that we’re upholding the standard.”
Not only does this annual event serve as a way to honor those who lost their lives, but it also allows for the education of the historical event to be passed on to younger generations.
Kimberly Cisneros, mother of two and administrator at the San Marcos Fire Department, shares that it is important to bring youth to events like these.
“My little guys are four and five years old and they weren’t alive during this,” Cisneros said. “It’s just teaching the next generation exactly what this was and what it meant; they’ve learned a lot by this.”
Cisneros recalls waking up and watching the news of the plane crashes on TV when she was a student at Texas State.
“I was in the dorm at Texas State that morning and weirdly enough, I never turned the TV on in the mornings but that particular morning I happen to turn the TV on and I watched everything unfold,” Cisneros said.
A timer was set inside Bobcat Stadium to commemorate each time something happened on 9/11. Video of the second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, striking the south tower played on the stadium screen 18 minutes after the climb began.
As the clock kept ticking and the heat intensified, the job at hand required the constant reminder of perseverance for San Marcos firefighter Jacob Hanks.
“My whole thing is on 9/11 they didn’t quit. When we’re getting hot and fatigued, you know remembering that it was hot and a very chaotic scene, those guys and gals just kept climbing, climbing, climbing, when they knew that that could be their last moment,” Hanks said. “Just doing this little moment I felt like I was climbing with them; just trying to be there with them in the moment.”
Hanks shares that his participation was more than just a challenge but an honor.
“It’s not just about 9/11, we’re doing this for all the fire, EMS and police officers that have badges, so that’s why I’m out here is to honor them; to put the gear on, get hot, sweaty and do a physical challenge to honor every day,” Hanks said.
Spectators like Don DuBoise felt overcome by emotions watching the first responders climb up the stadium flights over and over again.
“I felt very emotional, very proud to be an American. The camaraderie between all of us as we share this with each other,” DuBoise said. “It was great to see these young ones running with the firefighters and policemen, they need to learn, they need to see and be a part of it, you need to never forget.”
While DuBoise knows 9/11 was a tragic event, he believes it has brought forth more than just sorrow, but pride.
“It’s given pride in our country and our values, and it showed to always be prepared and never get too comfortable because this could always happen again,” DuBoise said.
DuBoise feels the world needs to be aware that this world changes and hopes this event will continue to grow and that more people will show up each year to remember and show their support.
“We need to keep this going, hopefully, next year, more people and more participants will come to take part,” DuBoise said.

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  • San Marcos Firefighter Aidan Cambell carries a fire hose with the written names of all the deceased 9/11 first responders during the the 2nd annual Hays County 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, Sunday, Sep. 11, 2022, at Bobcat Stadium.

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