The KC 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb was a huge success – and we were there!

Hello there friends,

It’s a cool Monday morning here in Kansas City and as I’m getting around for the day, I’ve been reflecting on this last weekend’s events. Last week there was a little news about this event that hit the National press, but due to the proactive work of law enforcement the issue was thwarted:

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The show went on.

We sponsored the 2015 KC 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb – specifically the celebration dinner the night before – called the “Brotherhood Bash”. It’s a time for the firemen to get together and bond before the next morning where they climb 110 stories in full firefighter gear. It’s impressive.

Here’s Lennie at the event having a great time; and the group of us had some good laughs, met some great people, ate, drank, and participated in the raffle for a lot of goodies at the end of the night.

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During the event’s festivities, Dave Bova (the Event coordinator, and good friend of mine) unveiled this mural:

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It’s the first of it’s kind in existence, but probably not the last. It’s got a picture of every fallen firefighter (all 343 of them) that was in New York on that fateful day back on September 11, 2001. This event is to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice and to promise to “never forget”.

It’s a touching way to spend a weekend and as I hugged my family it brought some sense of gratefulness and pride to be a part of this celebration. It’s a memorial for a tragic day, but the “togetherness” makes things better. We will be back next year and we hope you get it on your calendars now so you can witness the power of the “brotherhood”. It’s worth the time, trust me.

Take care, have a great Monday. Mine is starting off great!

Ryan

September 11, we will never forget. This is one way you can remember…

Hello there fellow Americans!

The day is rapidly approaching and as you may or may not know, my businesses Mission Repair and Mission Survivor both support and sponsor many Law Enforcement and Fire Department events. The biggest event of the year is coming up!

The first known 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb event occurred on September 11, 2003 during “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Parwan Province, Afghanistan. Albuquerque Fire Department Lieutenant Charles Cogburn scaled a two story building 55 times wearing body armor, a helmet and an M-4. Lt Cogburn returned home and on the following September 11th (2004) the climb was brought back to Albuquerque and given the title Albuquerque Firefighters Memorial Stair Climb. Firefighters from Engine 5 and Engine 2 were dispatched at 8:46am (the time the initial dispatch of FDNY units occured) to the Bank of Albuquerque Building in downtown Albuquerque. The building is 22 stories tall and it was climbed 5 times.

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Over the years, the movement has grown, and Kansas City honors the fallen Firefighters on 9/11 with our own Stair Climb that is being held downtown on September 13, 2015 put on by legendary Kansas City local Firefighters Dave Bova and Tom Hoegler. On average, thirty climbs occur every year across the country.

Last year was the first time I witnessed the event. I am truly looking forward to and honored that we are invited. In fact, my entire business has been invited to the “Brotherhood Bash” the night before; so it becomes a big event and big weekend for us all.

So I’m helping spread the word and the event is open to the public. Come on down Sunday morning and pay tribute to the cause, it’s free and I promise that it’s a touching and an amazing way to feel connected to continue the promise that “we never forget”. It’s important and if you see us down there, come by to say hello!

Last tidbit; I performed the stair climb last year as well. 110 stories of course that represents the same amount of flights that the firefighters climbed on 9/11 to rescue with tragic results. I’ll be doing it again this year, but in full firefighter bunker gear. Wish me luck…

Have a great evening, Ryan

In honor of 9/11 and the first responders…

Hello everyone,

Today is a day in history that most of us won’t forget. We can never forget.IMG_0948

Last weekend, the Kansas City 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb was held downtown and the crew put on a fantastic event.  We were able to watch 343 firemen climb 110 stories to remember those firemen who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11.  Each firefighter carried the name and picture of an actual firefighter that lost his life 13 years ago.

Needless to say, it was a memorable and emotional event.

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These firemen who volunteered to make the honorable stair climb and took the time out of their lives to get together from all over the country.  There are several of these events around the nation, but there were groups that came from as far as Georgia to participate.

Here’s some of the group getting ready as the coordinators staged them up in teams and sent them up the stairs in waves.  Each firefighter brought their full bunker gear and oxygen tank, totaling about 75 extra pounds to carry; Just like the firemen did when ascending into the burning twin towers:
IMG_0962As the guys were climbing, there were camera sand screens set up that caught the action on several floors.  If one of them slowed down, they all slowed down.  It was brotherhood at it’s best.

IMG_0967When they were done…and descending down the lat flight of stairs…each fireman would announce the name of his assigned fallen comrade and ring the brass bell to signify the honor and remembrance of the individual.  This part hit hardest for me as I watched these guys sweating and pushing after almost two hours of climbing.

IMG_0985I won’t miss the event ever again.  I encourage anyone that has not been involved in one of these honorary stair climbs to research your city to find out if and when it is.  To me, being so far removed from the individuals that paid the ultimate price on 9/11/01, it draws me closer and allows me to reflect on the day, and to pay tribute to those that sacrificed and lost so much on that day.  I am grateful for what I’ve got.

As it turns out, Tom Hoegler, one of the event coordinators, will be performing his climb this Sunday. He has invited me to climb with him…all 110 floors…and we’re starting Sunday morning at 8:00am. I’m going to make it; I’ve accepted the challenge as an honor; and I’ll be thinking of all that have been affected 13 years ago to now.

Wish me luck.

Take care, Ryan