MUSCATINE, Iowa–To honor the lives of the 343 Fire Department of New York firefighters who died rescuing people from the Sept. 11 2001 terror attacks, the Muscatine Fire Department held remembrance ceremonies the morning of Sept. 11. At 7 a. m., the department observed a moment of silence and placed a wreath at the firefighters memorial outside the Public Safety Building. Earlier in the week, firefighter Travis Edwards meticulously placed 343 miniature American flags next to the Public Safety building, each bearing the name of one of the fallen New York firefighters. “He put a lot of time and effort into it–it was a nice touch,” observed Muscatine Fire Chief Jerry Evers.
Later, at 9 a. m., nine current fire fighters and one former Muscatine firefighter who now serves in Bettendorf completed a stairclimb at the Merrill hotel. “The Merril was very gracious to let us do it here,” said Evers.
The firefighters went up and down its five flights of steps 18 times to equal the 110 flights of steps first responders climbed in the first tower of the World Trade Center prior to it collapsing. Evers found the event a moving tribute to the firefighters who responded to that crisis. “”It’s a dangerous professions, but everyone recognizes that,” he stated adding the stair climb, “is a way for us to honor our fallen brothers and sisters. For the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Evers has taken up the challenge of completing the stair climb himself.