UNC students climb 2,076 steps for 9/11 victims, heroes
Posted September 9, 2016
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Students, first responders and community members participated in a 2,076-step memorial stair run at Kenan Memorial Stadium Friday to honor and remember the victims of Sept. 11, 2001.
At 6 a.m., 300 people gathered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in tennis shoes and running shorts to continue a meaningful tradition. For the third year in a row, ROTC students at UNC organized the run to remember the 2,996 victims from the 9/11 attacks and to honor the first responders who helped that day.
Along with UNC students, staff and community members, local firefighters and police officers joined ROTC students to run up and down the stairs at the sporting arena. The number of steps is the same number of steps that were in each of the World Trade Center towers.
The event is particularly important to the UNC community, because six of the university's alumni died in the attacks on 9/11. It's also meaningful to Matt Sullivan, fire chief at the Chapel Hill Fire Department, who helped with recovery efforts at Ground Zero on Sept. 11.
"It was a tough time, but it was also an example of the perseverance of our responders and also of the outpouring of compassion and support after probably one of the most horrific days that happened on our country's soil," said Sullivan.
Sullivan participated in the memorial run along with Chapel Hill police chief Chris Blue.
Triangle residents can remember 9/11 with several other events this weekend, including a commemoration and service event at Red Hat Amphitheater on Sunday.