Saturday, the annual "Grand Rapids Memorial Stair Climb" was held at Fifth Third Ball Park.
"I do this (climb) every year", Howard said, "except for last year, when I was pregnant". Organizers said the event raised over $25,000. "And we're here to see how it was to climb 110 stories".
The event started with a parade of drums and bagpipes playing through downtown Roanoke followed by streams of firefighters ready to climb the Wells Fargo Tower.
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All funds will go towards the New York Fire Department counseling services and programs provided by the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation to support their families. During the climb, participants listened to the radio traffic from 9/11/01.
Each participant received a photo of one of the fallen heroes.
People from the public also participated in the event, each of them carrying flags and a name of a first responder killed on 9/11. Fairbanks climbed in memory of Eastland Firefighter Greg Simmons who was killed in a wildfire in Eastland County on April 15, 2011.