The New Orleans 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is not a race, but rather a tribute honoring the 343 firefighters, 60 law enforcement officers, and 8 emergency medical technicians that made the ultimate sacrifice with their life on September 11th, 2001. The event's first year was 2016 and every individual on the event staff works solely on a volunteer basis. I was a volunteer photographer in 2017, the event's 2nd year. I went back in 2018 because I was inspired seeing the 411 first responders that register for the event climbing 110 floors fulfilling the promise to "NEVER FORGET".
Witnessing the event provides spectators (family, friends and the general public) both an inspiring experience and intense reminder of the sacrifice, dedication and commitment required of those who serve and protect their communities around the world.
All climbers wear a lanyard with the name and picture of a fallen hero who perished on September 11th, 2001. The New Orleans Stair Climb also honors and remembers the first responders from across Louisiana who have died in the Line of Duty. All proceeds from our event are donated back to families of fallen Louisiana first responders.
First responders, in full gear, climb a total of 4 loops in the hot and humid stairwells. They climb up then take an elevator down to the first floor before starting to climb once again. This image was captured during the 2018 event where the stairwells were hotter and muggier than the previous year I photographed. The fireman was more than halfway up on his final loop. As he came around the turn, he just paused for a couple of seconds before heading up to the 110th floor.