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Students climb steps in memory of 9/11 firefighters
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Football cheerleader Abby Reagan climbs stairs at WCHS on Wednesday to remember the sacrifices of those made on Sept. 11, 2001.
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Morrison firefighter Slayden Rogers holds a name card for firefighter Joseph A. Mascali who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

Educators have a new challenge in recognizing the sacrifices made by those on Sept. 11, 2001.

For the first time since the worst terrorist attack on American soil, only a scant few of their K-12 students were alive on that fateful day.

To remember those killed at the World Trade Center, athletes at WCHS climbed stairs after school on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The goal was for the students to climb 110 flights.

Morrison firefighter Slayden Rogers addressed the students before the stair climb and told them what 9/11 means to him. Rogers said he would be climbing stairs at a separate ceremony in Nashville this Sunday in memory of firefighter Joseph A. Mascali.

“When Joe went to work that day and never came home, he left a wife and three kids,” said Rogers. “When we do this, it’s not necessarily a time to cut up. It’s a time of remembrance.”

Rogers pointed out that 343 firefighters said goodbye to their families that morning and never returned home, part of some 3,000 people who died during the terrorist attacks.

Event organizer Brent Whitlock had name cards of all 343 firefighters on a table. As part of a school assignment, students were to pick one firefighter and learn about their career.

“It’s good to do this to supplement what we talk about in class,” said Whitlock.