Climbing to Remember and Honor

The campus of Kansas Wesleyan University was bustling with activity early Saturday morning, hosting an event that Salina Fire Chief Tony Sneidar started last year as an annual event. The second “Central Kansas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and Family Walk” was held.

The morning began with opening remarks by Chief Sneidar, and Kansas Wesleyan President Dr. Matt Thompson. State representative Steven Howe read a proclamation from Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and then presented it to the chief.

A retired New York Firefighter was a special guest at the event. Lieutenant Joe Minogue, FDNY Ret., also spoke.


The event itself was two-fold, a memorial stair climb and a 5K walk /run.

Those participating in the stair climb climbed the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs, which is what the the firefighters on September 11th, 2001 had to climb. Many of the participants were firefighters wearing their full gear, which weighs about 100 pounds. Several Salina Police Officers in full gear also participated, along with multiple citizens.

They climbed up and down the stadium stairs, taking seven laps around the facility to complete the task.

Everyone participating carried the name badge of one of the fallen 343 firefighters and as they finished their journey read off the firefighter’s name and rang a bell.

Chief Sneidar told KSAL New there were about 90 people who participated in the climb.

Those not climbing went on the 5K journey, which circled the KWU campus a couple of times.

Nearly 3,000 first responders lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, including firefighters, police officers, and port authority responders.  Since that time hundreds others have succumbed to 9/11 related injuries or illness.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the FDNY Counseling Services Unit and the programs provided by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (501c3) which have provided much needed assistance to the surviving families and co-workers of the firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001.