WACO, Texas (Fox 44) –Many different organizations across central Texas had events and ceremonies to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11.

On September 11, 2001, first responders climbed up over 2000 steps. So, Sunday people climbed up Jacob’s Ladder in Waco to get a small glimpse of what that was like.

The physical challenges the climbers feel while doing the stair climb is a just a small reminder of how first responders felt going up the stairs in the towers.

“There is some discomfort to it, and that discomfort, as you can imagine, is what those firefighters felt as they were going up those 2,000 steps into the unknown, into smoke and fire,” climb organizer Rolando Hernandez said.

Pat O’Connor climbed the stairs and emphasized how important it is for everyone to take time to remember the sacrifices given on 9/11


“It’s important to honor the people who have given for us and those who are first responders throughout their lives,” O’ Connor said. “Some of them gave their life. Our veterans have given us a country that we can live in and have the freedoms that we have. And that’s why I come out here.”

This is the second year O’Connor has climbed Jacob’s Ladder, and this year he even recruited family members from out of town to come to Waco for the stair climb.

He says beyond today, it’s important to think of our first responders and veterans and what they do for us.


“First responders and our veterans are two groups that I feel as a community we forget about them until it’s an emergency, and then we think that they should be there for us, and we should think about them more than just when we need them,” O’Connor said.

The Heart of Texas Det. 975 Marine Corps League plans to host the stair climb again next year for a 5th time.


“Our first responders that report to fires, the police and the EMT people, they put themselves in danger every day,” Hernandez said. “We should recognize what it was that they what they went through.”