Grand Valley Firefighter Takes On Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb
This is one of those moments that just makes you so proud to live in the Grand Valley.
The anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has passed, but it's quite possible you missed this particular moment and it's definitely worth taking a look.
On Friday, Fire Chief Charles Balke from the Clifton Fire Department was at Mesa Fitness to do the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, in honor of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Chief Balke's goal was to do 110 flights of stairs- the same as firefighters on 9/11. He came close to the goal, completing a difficult 92 flights in full gear.
For those that have never been on a stair climber at the gym, let me just tell you, it's not easy. One flight is not a problem, two flights, three flights, four flights -but somewhere along the way, early in the process, your legs begin to get heavier and heavier. Breathing becomes more labored with each passing flight. Most of us could not come close to doing 92 flights of stairs in our gym shorts, let alone doing it in full fire-fighting garb. So, kudos to Chief Balke for an amazing effort.
None of us can even begin to fathom what that day was like for first responders running into the World Trade Center on that fateful morning. We can only imagine those final moments.
The other this about this that I think is so tremendous is just the simple fact that Chief Balke was willing to take the time and make the effort to honor his 9/11 comrades. I'm not a firefighter, have never been one and never will be, but I can imagine the kinship that every firefighter in America feels with those 9/11 heroes we lost in action. It's because of people like Chief Balke that we will never forget the horror of September 11 and every individual whose life was cut short on that day.
Thanks to Chief Balke for this amazing effort and for providing this tremendous inspiration to everyone in the Grand Valley.