GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — The West High School physical education department held a memorial bleacher climb on Friday, Sept. 10.
The event honored the 343 firefighters of the New York Fire Department who paid the ultimate sacrifice at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Students and local firefighters climbed the bleachers throughout the day at West’s Del Marcel Stadium.
At about 9:15 a.m., a moment of silence was observed to honor the lives lost on that day, followed by a performance from the West High School band and choir.
Local firefighters from Station No. 3 brought a fire truck and fire gear, allowing students to climb steps in the gear to gain an appreciation of the weight and the heat factors that are involved in a firefighter’s day of work. The National Guard was also in attendance with a Humvee and additional weighted backpacks for students to try on.
Nick Craig, a Green Bay Metro Fire Department officer, shared his memories of that tragic day.
"I was at work and it came up on the TV and everyone's eyes were glued to it," Craig said. "At that time I was actually in my last semester of fire school, I was interning at a local fire department. I had some serious thoughts of, 'Is this what I really want to do for my career?' It was a tough day."
Green Bay Packers alumni Kevin Barry and Dexter McNabb along with representatives from the Green Bay Booyah baseball team were also in attendance.
During their class periods, physical education students climbed or walked the bleachers 11 times, which is equivalent to 1/10 of the 110 stories the firefighters did 20 years ago in the World Trade Center.
Dean Distributing donated 500 cartons of chocolate milk for participants to enjoy after completing the climb as part of “Fuel Up to Play 60” initiative sponsored by the NFL and the Wisconsin Dairy Association to get kids up and moving for 60 minutes per day.