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US/NZ Firefighters commemorate 13th anniversary of 9/11

US/NZ Firefighters commemorate 13th anniversary of 9/11

11 September 2014

Two New York City firefighters joined forces with their New Zealand counterparts today to commemorate 9/11 in a memorial stair climb in Auckland.

The NZ and US firefighters, who are First Responders at the New York City Fire Department, climbed all 28 floors of the old BNZ Building on Queen street in full firefighting gear.

After a morning of various stair climb events, the firefighters assembled to hear the names of the 56 New Zealand firefighters who have perished in the line of duty. The names of the 343 NYC firefighters killed on 9/11 were also read out by New York firefighters Chris Barber and John Mills.

US Consul General Jim Donegan, a New York City native, said the ceremony was all the more significant for the participation of firefighters from his hometown.

“This ceremony and memorial stair climb to commemorate the New York City firefighters killed on 9/11 and New Zealand Fire Service firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty, signals the strength and special quality of our relationship,” he said.

Mr Donegan also read out a letter from the Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, Daniel Nigro, thanking the New Zealand firefighters for their support.

Each stair-climbing firefighter wore a tally with the name and brigade of one of the 56 New Zealand firefighters and the engine or ladder companies of the 343 American firefighters.

This was the sixth time the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb has been held in Auckland. Tony Scott from FireUp Events, who is also a firefighter at Auckland Airport, founded the NZ Memorial Climb to raise awareness about firefighters around New Zealand, and the world, who risk their lives to save others.

Mr Scott is responsible for several other firefighter-related events including the Annual Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge in Auckland which has raised over $2.5 million for the Leukemia and Blood Foundation.

Mr Scott’s efforts were recognised on Wednesday evening when he received a 2014 Pride of New Zealand Award for Fundraiser of the Year.

Today’s event in Auckland kicks off the first of five memorial climbs being held around the world to commemorate 9/11.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/us_embassy_newzealand/sets/72157647477316085/

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