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Climbing in memory of 9/11 fallen firefighters

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Sunday morning, 343 firefighters from across Virginia climbed the stairs at the Suntrust Bbuilding, some of them decked out in full gear, to honor the fallen firefighters from the World Trade Center attacks in New York.

The 11th anniversary of the tragedy is on Tuesday, so participants hiked up 22 flights of stairs a total of five times, which equals the 110 stories of the World Trade Center towers.

The tradition started in Denver in 2005 and has since spread to other cities across the country.

This will mark the second year that this group has done the climb locally.

Each person that made the climb wore a badge around their neck with the name of a firefighter that lost their life while on duty that day.  When climbers finished their fifth lap, they rang a bell and yelled the name on their badge to honor the sacrifice of the fallen.

“As I was going up the stairs, I wanted to give up,” says Sherard Glover, a Richmond firefighter who lived in Brooklyn at the time of the attacks.  “As I looked at I looked at the gentleman’s name and face who I was carrying; he didn’t make it home to his family, he didn’t make it home to his kids, he didn’t make it home to live life.”

“It makes you think every time you put on your uniform,” he added.

To see the action and hear how the climb impacted participants, watch the video above.

Watch CBS 6 Jon Burkett participate in a test run of the event.