On 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks, Tower Challenge to honor fallen and survivors

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 12:12 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:12 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Local law enforcement, first responders and military will take part in the 9/11 Tower Challenge Saturday, in honor of lives lost and survivors of the terrorist attacks 20 years ago.

Rob Brandt said the foundation’s goal is to continue to live out the promise of never forgetting the events that took place on 9/11.

This will be the tenth 9/11 Tower Challenge to take place in Tucson.

“We never wanted to do something more than just your standard memorial, we wanted to hold an event that everyone could feel like they were doing something,” Brandt said. “An event where they could sort of feel what the first responders went through that day.”

The World Trade Center towers each consisted of 110 floors and 2,071 steps. Over 4,000 individuals across Arizona and for the first year, Utah, will be walking, climbing and running to remember and honor the sacrifices made.

Typically, the event is held at Arizona Stadium.

But this year it will be held at 6:30 a.m. at the Tucson Convention Center. Brandt said that is because the stadium will be getting ready to host the Wildcats’ first home football game of the season.

In 2020, the event was completely virtual because of the pandemic.

“It was a little bit of a disrupter because we had a good thing going for many years, but we still had about 1,200 people statewide do it virtually,” Brandt said. “They signed up and did the climb anywhere they could.”

This year there will be an option to attend in person or virtually. Masks are not required at the TCC but they are strongly recommended.

The TCC monitors the CO2 levels within the arena and introduces fresh air when needed.

Brandt said if someone can’t climb because of physical limitations, they will be able to walk around the complex and still be a part of the event.

“We also post pictures of all the fallen throughout the arena, so as your climbing you get to see the people that were actually lost on Sept. 11, it gives you some sense of the gravity that was lost,” Brandt said. “Every climber, every participant, also carries a badge with them of one of the fallen so you feel like you were climbing for somebody.”

If you are unable to make it to the climb, there will also be an event held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Tucson Downtown starting at 5 pm.

Sgt. Matthew Rosenberg will be the keynote speaker. He was an Army Medic assigned to the Pentagon.

In the days prior to the attacks, he was studying a new medical disaster plan based upon the “unlikely scenario” of an aircraft hitting the building.

If you’re interested in attending you can register online or morning of in person until the event reaches full capacity.

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