In a touching tribute, two firefighters dressed in full uniform climbed the equivalent of 110 floors to honour the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Dressed in uniform complete with oxygen tanks and helmets, the two men took to the machines in Planet Fitness in Bonaire, Georgia, to carry out their recognition of all the firefighters who lost their lives saving others during the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
The duo began their ascent at 8.46am, the moment the first plane – American Airlines Flight 11 – hit the north tower.
In less than 24 hours, the video of the moving tribute had been viewed more than 17 million times.
You can watch it here:
The twin towers were designed by lead architect Minoru Yamasaki, who devised plans for the buildings to be 80 stories tall. However, to meet the Port Authority’s requirement of 10,000,000 square feet of office space, the buildings were redesigned to be 110 stories tall.
Ray Meisenheimer, who worked at Suffolk Country Fire Academy as well as Rescue 3 in the Bronx, was just one of the any firefighters who tragically lost their lives in the attack.
Ray’s daughter Kaitlynn spoke to UNILAD about her dad and his involvement on the day.
My dad was a NYC fireman at Rescue 3 in the Bronx. FDNY rescue companies are the most elite and the best of the FDNY. His company trained in collapse so on that day they were going to assess the situation, and helped civilians while on their way up to the fire.
In addition to FDNY, my dad also worked at the Suffolk County Fire Academy where he was chief of program development.
In November 2001 he was planning to retire from the FDNY to work full time at the academy. We were in the process of moving, building my dad’s dream house.
We moved in December 2001, without him.
My dad was coming off shift when the call came in, he was wearing civilian clothes to go to his second job. Like so many others, he dropped what he was doing and jumped on the rig to do what he was born and trained to do; fight fires.
We received confirmation the evening of 9/11 rescue 3 was on the scene and were in fact in the south tower. Still, I didn’t know how this would affect my family.
I don’t remember how much time went by before receiving items from the rig that belonged to my dad, such as car keys, his wallet, his ring and cell phone, but it was then I found out my dad was not coming home to us, he was already home, in heaven.
My dad was a big guy with an even bigger heart and personality. He was born to be a fireman. He loved two things in life, his career and his girls – mom and two daughters.
Almost 3,000 people died as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Kaitlynn’s words and the two firefighters’ tribute are reminders of the brave heroes who gave their lives saving others that day.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.