ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – City and state officials, firefighters, and police officers gathered with the community at Civic Plaza to honor the men and women who went to work on 9/11 and never came home. Charles Cogburn is a retired Albuquerque Fire Dept. Lieutenant. He was also the keynote speaker at the ceremony. He shares, “It was just a horrendous day in our nation’s history and it’s a day we really need to stop, remember, and honor those who died that day.”
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Cogburn was deployed to Afghanistan and started the tradition of the stair climb in 2003. “When we’re in the stairs it’s somber, all you hear is footsteps.” He says it was a personal way to honor and respect those who were lost that day. When he came back from serving overseas, he shared it with his Albuquerque engine crew.
Every year, firefighters across the country participate in the 9/11 memorial stair climb. This morning, Albuquerque Fire Rescue geared up for the challenge.
Emily Jaramillo, the Deputy Chief at AFR explains, “So we climb 110 stairs at the bank building and then we shower really quick and we come over here for the official ceremony. So, it’s a long day, a lot of emotions and a lot of camaraderie.”
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller also attended the ceremony downtown. People in the community shared why it was important for them to pay tribute. Al Sena shares, “It’s a way to recognize them and still remember that you know people are still affected by that, even 20 years later.”