NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - First responders from around the area climbed 110-floors at Poydras Tower in tribute to the fallen firefighters, killed during the 9/11 attacks.
"New Orleans and New York has such a strong bond, with 9/11, and then those guys coming back down for Katrina, we just need to do more to pay our respects to those guys that lost their lives on that day in September," Neil Navarro, Jefferson Parish firefighter and event organizer, said.
More than 325 firefighters and police officers turned out to the tower to make the climb, each one wearing a lanyard with the name and picture of one of the 343 firefighters killed nearly 15 years ago.
"It's a very humbling experience, just to be a part of it, and excuse me for my emotions, but it's a good thing, it's a great thing. We look forward to doing this year after year and making this as big as possible," Navarro said.
The ascent took at least three full climbs through the tower to make the full 110-floors.
"It's humbling, you start off strong and it starts to hurt and you look at the name tag and it keeps you going, it fires you back up," said Stephanie Hartman, a St. Tammany Parish firefighter.
Navarro said during his climb he wore the names of eleven men from the "Rescue One" crew.
"At floor 71, I was a wet noodle, I was completely gassed, but I looked down at all eleven of those lanyards, those pictures, and those guardian angels took me the rest of the way," Navarro said.
The organizers hope to continue the memorial in the future.