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Firefighters hike the Manitou Incline in remembrance of 9/11

Posted at 9:46 AM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 11:54:49-04

MANITOU SPRINGS — On September 11th, a group of firefighters from across the Pikes Peak region and around the states took to the steps of the Manitou Incline to honor all those first responders who lost their lives running up flights of stairs to reach those trapped inside the twin towers on September 11, 2001.

Just like firefighters on that day in NYC, those ascending the incline wore full fire protection gear weighing up to 60 pounds as they climbed up more than 2,700 steps and 2,000 feet to the top of the Incline.

The group, headed by RJ Gerry who started the climb seven years ago, says the climb symbolizes the bond they share with firefighters who lost their lives on 9-11 trying to save others.

This years climb included dozens of firefighters, and all those we had a chance to speak with claimed that while the climb may be exhausting, it's well worth the effort.

"You know we say never forget," stated one firefighter, "and this puts action to those words and it's amazing to be with a group of people this large that do that, and from all walks of life."

RJ Gerry, the climb organizer, worked as a firefighter in the Pikes Peak region until 2020 when he took a position out of state. He's flown in the past two years in order to continue heading up the annual remembrance climb, stating that the incline is a sacred place to him and that he hopes everyone will remember the sacrifice of all those first responders who died 21 years ago.