Local fighters train to participate in annual 9/11 stair climb Submitted: 09/11/2018
MINOCQUA - Arbor Vitae Fire Chief Mike VanMeter and a handful of other local firefighters have been climbing, stepping and remembering since June.

"[Those people who died in the Twin Towers] were climbing those stairs not knowing if they were coming back or not," said VanMeter.

Last year, firefighters from Woodruff, Arbor Vitae and Minocqua went to the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Lambeau Field.

"We're going back this year," said VanMeter.

This year's stair climb is on September 22 due to the Packers' schedule. However, that didn't stop the group from taking time to remember the fallen.

Minocqua Assistant Fire Chief Brian Hazelett said he plans on doing the stair climb every year to make others aware of the ultimate sacrifice.

"[We want to] give them a voice that they don't have anymore," said Hazelett. "We were hit, knocked down but we were able to stand back up and come together."

Seventeen years later, these firefighters continue to stand and step through the pain.
"We all feel each other's pain and it's a huge symbol of what America is all about," said VanMeter.

The firefighters plan to do the climb wearing full gear which weighs about 70 pounds.

Story By: Erin Beu

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