9/11 Memorial Stair Climb
AO: The Bluffs
PAX: Anklet, Teacher’s Pet, Shoestring, Bookworm, O Positive, Hitch, Outcast, Gus
Conditions: 69F and cloudy
The PAX arrived at Tom Lee Park, curious to see what this event would entail. YHC distributed rucks and ShovelFlags. YHC had not planned very far ahead, so we observed the steps (pictured above) together. The PAX counted 73 steps on the way up. We were shooting for approximately 2,200 steps (approximating 110 floors in the WTC), so YHC announced we would make 30 trips up. The trips down would not count toward the step total. The PAX moved out, with Hitch leading the way. Mumble Chatter was limited as the first ten trips caused labored breathing. Soon the PAX found their lungs and started cutting up. The Bluff City scene was beautiful, and the mood was light. As we reached the (metaphorical) upper floors, Hitch reminded the PAX that the firefighters ascending the stairs would have faced new dangers due to the plane wreckage and exhorted us to run this flight. As we approached the 99th floor, YHC encouraged the PAX to remember that the firefighters would have been incredibly tired at this point, with 11 more floors to go to check for people on the top floors. Somebody would need to go. Let us be That Somebody.
The PAX made the last three trips in silence. YHC used the time to reflect on the sacrifices by so many on a day of national mourning. 30 trips x 73 stairs = 2,190 stairs climbed
COT / BOM: Be That Somebody for your family, friends, and community. The stakes cannot be higher.
MOLESKIN: September 11, 2001, is a day that lives forever in the minds of Americans. Even our #WarBaby, Outcast, can remember that day. I was 14 years old and had no idea how the events of that day would shape my future. My brother, F3 Half Pipe, enlisted in the Army 11 months later when he turned 18. His bold example led me to do the same in 2007. I served for six years as a psychological operations specialist and learned more about Islamic extremism than I thought possible. I traveled to the exotic locales of Fort Benning; Fort Bragg; Helmand Province, Afghanistan; and Balad, Iraq. I was fired upon and returned fire in a conflict that is still playing out in the Middle East. My story is the story of a generation of young Americans, many of us maligned Millennials who are tasked with cleaning up behind the Gen-Xers who couldn’t bother to figure out how to handle the prosperity their parents earned. (But I digress.)
America is a place of ideals, even if it’s not an ideal place. At our best, we value responsibility and generosity, perseverance and preparedness, self-reliance and selflessness. 9/11 reminds us of our best qualities, and they are most easily seen in the sacrifice of 343 firefighters who lost their lives sixteen years ago. Each of them was That Somebody that day, to the benefit of those they saved and the grateful nation they left behind. The PAX climbed 2,190 stairs on a beautiful Memphis morning to remember those sacrifices and apply ourselves to be That Somebody.
God Bless America.