Every climb is different for me. Of course, there are similarities.
All are 110 floors. All are to remember those lost on 9/11. All climbs are more than a name, and more than the picture you carry.
Some, however, are more personal than others. If it’s in the stairwell, it’s more personal. If it’s quite, with the exception of words of encouragement…it’s more personal. If your mind is “in it”…it’s more personal.
On Saturday, I climbed once again at the Charlotte 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. This was the 3rd Annual Climb, and the second time I had attended. I was fortunate enough to be able to climb with many friends that I have made along the way. Several of the crew on our team was from FDNY, and everyone else had travelled to New York during Hurricane Sandy relief trips. Most of us had met before, but it was the first time meeting a few.
As I reflect back on the climb, I don’t draw attention to my accomplishment. It has nothing to do with me. It’s about the name that I carried to the top. I wasn’t the quickest or the slowest climbing, but Firefighter Thomas McCann from Engine 65 made it to the top. I promise you that he will not be forgotten.
With this being the 6th or 7th stair climb that I have participated it, I always try to climb in memory of a new face, a new name. I want to learn about each of the brothers that were murdered just 12 years ago. I want to help each and every one of them make it to the top. I want to help each and every one of them be remembered.
Thomas McCann had 22 1/2 years on the job.
He was a senior man at Engine 65 (Midtown Mob).
He was the only brother out of his firehouse that died that day.
He enjoyed golfing in his time away from work.
His favorite NFL team were the New York Jets.
He had two children, Sean and Courtney.
He took his wife Anne to Hawaii on their honeymoon, and that is where she spread his ashes following the 9/11 attacks.
He will NOT be forgotten.