It was a somber day in Broome County on Sunday as the Binghamton Fire Department honored those who passed away during the September 11th terrorist attacks. As our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, together they climbed over 100 stories and remembered hundreds of men and women that were lost almost 11 years ago.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Two days before the 11th anniversary of 9/11, Binghamton firefighters honored their fallen brothers.
“They did the unimaginable, climbed to their ultimate death, but they were trying to do all they could, anything and everything to help out the people in those buildings,” said David Holleran, Binghamton Fire Department Lieutenant.
Michael Durkan, retired Binghamton Firefighter, added, “I will never forget, the fire service will never forget, and that’s why I’m here. I was here last year and I’ll do it until I die.”
Together they climbed up the State Building on Hawley Street multiple times until they reached 110 stories total, the same amount climbed by firefighters in the World Trade Centers almost 11 years ago.
“What those guys did that day was incredible. Them going up to try and rescue people, battle through the heat and smoke. It’s one way we can honor them,” said William Banovic, Binghamton Fire Department.
“I personally came here to feel what it was like to climb 110 flights, having never done that before," said Shannon Potts, Binghamton Fire Department. "Your heart rate is going through the roof and you’re sweating like crazy.”
Each firefighter carried with them a photograph and name of someone whose life was cut short during the terrorist attacks in 2001. Some of Binghamton's bravest climbed in full gear, carrying axes and hoses.
“It doesn’t seem too bad at first, but it gets real hot and the heat gets trapped under your gear, it takes a toll on you. But you keep their memories on your mind and it helps you push through,” explained Banovic.
Potts added, “These are ideal conditions for us, they had people screaming down the stairs, going up into smoke and when they got to the top they were expecting to fight a fire, which is a lot more difficult than climbing stairs. Just an unbelievable sacrifice on their part.”
The fire department says they had a bigger turn out this year for the second annual event, and they plan on continuing the climb every year.