Willie and I climbed again. We climbed with 100′s of other firefighters. This would be our 5th climb, we thought that the 4th one was our last…we decided on it. A pact if you will that we wouldn’t climb anymore. Why do we say this? I can’t really put a finger on it, but it has something to do with not losing what we have gained. When we climb, it is emotional. The feelings I have felt, the thoughts I have had, the emotions have been engraved in my mind. They are my tattoos.
Then we climbed again.
This time we said the same thing after we were done. We wouldn’t climb anymore.
Thanks for all the Brothers who climbed with us. You know who you are and it was an honor to climb with you.
We will never forget. We know that. As Brian Brush says in one of the video’s below: if you can’t climb, pay the $25 donation and he will carry the card. The money benefits the counseling unit of the FDNY. Without the stair climbs, the unit would be unfunded and be closed down.
Climbing at Lucas Oil Stadium was different than climbing in a stairwell. In a stairwell it is more personal.
It is tough, it has never been easy even when we climbed in shorts and a t-shirt.
Do me a favor and pick out a climb this year and do it if you have never done it before. I ask you to climb because I want you to experience what we have experienced.
This past climb, I carried the cards of Firefighter Andrew A. Fredericks (squad 18) and Firefighter Ruben D. Correa (engine 74).
I also carried the cards of the guys I have climbed for in the past:
- Martin McWilliams (engine 22)
- Firefighter Durrell V. Pearsall (rescue 4)
- Firefighter Frank J. Bonomo (engine 230)
- Firefighter Karl H. Joseph (engine 207)
- Raymond York (engine 285)
- Firefighter Joseph Agnello (ladder 118)
But the real truth is that I climbed for all 343 of them…and I climbed for myself.