Muscatine Fire Department holds Sept. 11 remembrances

Firefighter Ben Barrett, mechanic Jason Verschoore, and lieutenant Jonathan Wieland stand next to the Muscatine Firefighters Memorial, where the moment of silence took place.

MUSCATINE, Iowa–To mark the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Muscatine Fire Department held a pair of remembrance ceremonies. At 7 a. m. members of the department and the public gathered around the Muscatine Firefighters Memorial for a moment of silence.

Later, at 7:46 a. m., the time a plane struck the World Trade Center’s north tower, firefighters Travis Edwards and Andrew McSorley began a 110 story stair climb to honor firefighters who responded to the attack and climbed an equivalent distance to rescue people. Edwards and McSorley made 25 trips up and down the public safety building’s training tower to cover the equivalent distance. The climb took them approximately 45 minutes to complete. For the duration of the climb, each carried the name of one of the 343 firefighters who died responding to the attack. When they finished their climb, they rang a bell at the top of the tower as a way of further honoring the fallen firefighters. Edwards also used the climb as a way to raise funds for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Travis Edwards and Andrew Sorley preparing for their stair climb.

In previous years, Muscatine firefighters have participated in several memorial stair climbs. Assistant Chief Michael Hartman participated in the largest climb in the nation at Lambeau Field in Greenbay, Wisconsin in 2018. Mechanic Jason Verschoore participated in a climb in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2013. However, Edwards and McSorley’s climb represents the first one to take place in Muscatine. In future years, Hartman hopes more Muscatine firefighters will complete a stair climb either in Muscatine or at a larger event.

Travis Edwards and Andrew McSorley did a 110 story memorial stair climb in remembrance of Sept. 11.