Rock Springs City Council approves Memorial Climb for 9/11 on Grant Street

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Screenshot of meeting from Youtube

Carly Eversole, [email protected]

Rock Springs, Wyoming – Despite being election night, Rock Springs City Council still convened last night to address public concerns and approve new business presented to them. Kelly Mathis of the Rock Spring Fire Department spoke to Rock Springs City Council members at last night’s council meeting seeking approval for the closing of Grant Street to hold another Memorial Climb in remembrance of the 9/11 tragedy that occurred 21 years ago. The Memorial Climb will take place Sunday, September 11 beginning at 6:46 a.m. and lasting until mid-morning.

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Last year’s event brought out multiple first responder agencies within Sweetwater County including the Green River Fire Department, Rock Springs Fire Department, Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, and Rock Springs Police Department among others. Nearly 150 people participated in the climb in remembrance of the victims who lost their lives on that day. Mathis thanked the council for allowing Grant Street to be closed last year and was hoping for the same approval this year to host the event. After hearing the presentation by Mathis, Mayor Kuamo proclaimed September 11 to be a remembrance day in Rock Springs Wyoming and said “I encourage citizens to honor the lives of those lost by participating in Rock Springs Fire Department’s 9/11 memorial climb….”

Although the Rock Springs Fire Department requested the closing of Grant Street from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. for set up and clean-up purposes, the event will begin at 6:46 a.m. which marks the time the first World Trade Center building was hit (mountain standard time). A bell placed at the top of Grant Street will ring at that time signifying the start of the event and can be rung by participants after completing the climb. Mathis went on to explain “A bell will ring or a horn will blast every time a tower collapses or a plane hits a tower, that way it kind of keeps it in your minds the progress of events on that day and what people were going through…”

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The climb from the bottom of Grant Street to the top mimics the distance first responders had to climb in their rescue efforts in the trade towers. Participants can make the climb once and ring the bell when they get to the top or choose to go the length of Grant Street 12 times which is the equivalent of 343 flights of stairs in honor of the 343 first responders who lost their lives that day. Participants also have the option of carrying heavy bags and weighted vests. Some firefighters last year participated in full turnouts and another participant carried a very large American flag while climbing.

After a motion to approve the request by Councilman Betollo and a second by Councilman West, permission to close Grant Street was approved by the rest of the council unanimously and the event will proceed as planned.

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