100+ firefighters climb Stone Mountain in full gear to honor lives lost on 9/11

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — More than 100 firefighters hiked to the top of Stone Mountain in full gear Friday to honor their fallen brothers and sisters.

The annual climb marks the anniversary of 9/11. The firefighters say they climb to honor those who can’t.

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Three hundred and forty three firefighters lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. Friday, 20 years later, the firefighters gathered at the top to remember them.

“It’s tough but it’s well worth it. It’s for my brothers and my sisters,” Fayetteville firefighter Quynh Hervey said.

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The Stone Mountain climb started seven years ago with just seven Fayetteville firefighters showing up in full gear to hike the one mile to the summit. This year, a dozen Jones County firefighters joined for the first time.

“Just like the first responders that on 9/11, 20 years ago, they had to go in and climb the stairs in the twin towers so they gave their all,” Jones County fire Lt. Steve Hall said.

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Firefighters and first responders from nearly a dozen different departments showed up Friday. They say the tradition is all about showing unity and remembering the lives lost.

“We all have different badges on our arms, but we all come together in times of need and that’s basically why we’re all here, honoring the sacrifice made by others,” Fayetteville fire Capt. Josh Collins said.