CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Determined men and women spent time on Sunday going up and down the steps inside Kenan Stadium, during the annual stair climb to honor victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
On this day, the 21st anniversary of the 911 terrorist attacks, the annual stair climb recognizes the thousands killed that day.
"Just a way to remember them, keep everything focused on the future," said UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. "It's great to have the community out here, students, ROTC units from Duke are here, local EMS workers."
Guskiewicz put in serious work, along with many other people who pushed past physical discomfort.
"It's a great way to start a day that we all reflect back on. It's emotional. Everybody remembers where they were on 9/11/2001 during those terrible hours of tragedy for our country," he said.
Sgt. Major David Lee May III of the 503rd Military Police Battalion told ABC11 his motivation came, in part, from someone who shed blood while serving America overseas.
"To honor the victims of 911 and also pay tribute to the 911 generation who fought so valiantly in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021," Sgt. Major May III said. "Purple Heart Recipient, he was out here doing it with me. He was wounded by an IED in 2009 in Afghanistan. He still serves today, he's a paratrooper, a patriot and father. So he's one of the many people who inspired me to keep moving up the steps."
The Kenan Stadium stair climb gives those who participate a real world idea how it must have felt, when brave New York City first responders accepted the challenge to honor lives lost and saved on September 11, 2001.