Firemen, friends climb for 9/11 fallen

Julye Keeble

Staff writer

Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department Chief Gene Ayala and assistant chief Todd Dorris were in San Antonio Wednesday to climb more than 110 stories of stairs in memory of firefighters who lost their lives 18 years ago.

On Sept. 11, 2001, 343 firefighters, 70 law enforcement officers and nine emergency medical service personnel died in the New York World Trade Center Towers, and the San Antonio 110 9/11 Memorial Climb is held to pay tribute to their memories.

Dorris and Ayala have attended the San Antonio event since its inception in 2012. Ayala said he was gratified to have Uvalde represented by a larger group this year, including UVFD members Juan Martinez, Billy Foutz, Wyatt Williams and Manza Hale Jr., Uvalde Police Department Officer Bruce Ramos and emergency medical service representatives Cassandra Atwood and Amanda Shoemake.

The event, a climbing memorial similar to others held across the country, was held at San Antonio’s Tower of the Americas on Wednesday. The Tower of the Americas has 65 floors before the observation deck, so participants from more than 100 agencies, 10 states and three countries were encouraged to climb the tower stairs twice to simulate the 110 floors of stairs in the fallen World Trade Center Towers.


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