Harrisonburg police officers climb stairs to remember fallen first responders

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV)— On Wednesday, Harrisonburg police officers climbed 110 flights of stairs to remember first responders who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

Sgt. Grubbs climbed 110 flights Wednesday morning to honor first responders who died 18 years ago today. | Credit: WHSV

Sgt. Charles Grubbs has climbed for a few years now. He said its to remember first responders and what they went through saving lives that day.

"It's about remembering everyone that perished and lost their lives, the families," Grubbs said.

While he's climbing the 110 stories, Grubbs said he takes the time to think. He said the climb is emotional for him.

"I just reflect a lot, what those guys went through," Grubbs said. "All that smoke filled, breathing in fumes and dust and smoke."

Sgt. Phillip Read was one of several officers who climbed stairs at the Harrisonburg Police Department.

"It makes me remember why I joined the military, as well as why I became a police officer," Sgt. Reed said.

Sgt. Grubbs said he wants people to remember what remembering this day is all about.

"In the end, those guys served their community that they worked for, with full professionalism and duty," Sgt. Grubbs said.

Grubbs said the climb is tough, but he said it's nothing compared to what those first responders experienced.

"First responders gave the ultimate sacrifice and when their tour of duty was done, they didn't get to go home," Grubbs said. "When I finish these 110 floors, I still get to go home, but they didn't."

After finishing, both Grubbs and Read said it was a humbling experience.

"Just kind of humbled by what they did," Read said. "This is just a small remembrance of what they actually did."