By Brooke Robinson
PLYMOUTH — A memorial stair climb is taking place at Plymouth State University (PSU) on Sunday to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Anybody is welcome to come and climb the same number of stairs that first responders to the World Trade Center tackled.
This is the second year the stair climb is being held at the college. Domenica Medaglia-Brown, educational coordinator for the school's TRIO program, organized the event for this year. A former firefighter herself, she and other former firefighters had participated in a stair climb in the past to honor their fallen comrades and had originally hoped to go to last year's stair climb in Manchester. However, they instead decided to bring the event to the PSU community and host their own climb on campus.
"We had wanted to participate in one in Manchester but we just decided that it would be better to have students participate in it if we weren't trying to get them all down to Manchester," Medaglia-Brown said.
The Draper and Maynard Building at PSU contains four flights of stairs. In order to total the 108 sets of stairs climbed by first responders, participants will trek up and down these four flights 27 times. Last year's event took about an hour for participants to complete.
Not only does this event serve to memorialize the fallen from the 9/11 attacks, it is also an opportunity to educate younger people who may not have the same understanding of the attacks as their elders. "This year's first-years were three when this happened," Medaglia-Brown emphasized. "A lot of them know about (9/11) academically, but they don't understand the impact that it had at the time in terms of our history as a country."
The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon resulted in the 2,996 fatalities including 343 FDNY firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers and 55 military personnel. The PSU event will honor those who lost their lives in the attack as well as help educated those who were too young to feel the effects that the attack had on the country.
The PSU Memorial Stairclimb is open to anyone from the public including children. The event starts at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 11. The climb will be preceded by reception including the singing of the National Anthem and refreshments will be provided. Participants must wear appropriate footwear.
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