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    Never Forget: MCAS Iwakuni hosts 7th Annual Memorial Stair Climb

    Never Forget: MCAS Iwakuni Hosts 7th Annual Memorial Stair Climb

    Photo By Cpl. Phuchung Nguyen | U.S. Marines assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Phuchung Nguyen 

    Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni

    For many, September 11, 2001, started as a normal day. Americans throughout the United States went about their morning routine; a cup of coffee, then the commute to work or school.  But at 8:46 a.m. EST, everything changed. 

    Within minutes, breaking news spread across the U.S. American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. 17 minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. At 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon. Moments later, reports indicated that the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 subdued hijackers and crash-landed in a field in Pennsylvania, leading to the deaths of everyone on board. 

    In memory of those who fell victim to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, U.S. Marines, Sailors, Status of Forces Agreement members, and Master Labor Contractors at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni came together to ascend 110 flights of stairs in commemoration of first responders and the victims of the attack.

    Hosted every year since 2015, on or near September 11, the memorial climb began with Marines announcing the times each attack took place. Soon after, participants began to climb stairs, walking past photographs of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    The station’s Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Marines coordinated the stair climb to have groups of 30 participants climb at a time, and sanitized prior to following groups beginning their ascend, in adherence to COVID-19 precautions.

    “It had to be done in increments to limit COVID-19 exposure,” said Sgt. Joshuah Mounce, an ARFF specialist who coordinated the memorial stair climb. “Before and after each group, the Marines sanitized the interior and the exterior of the building.”

    “I felt honored to be a part of this event,” said Lance Cpl. Luis Lopez, an ARFF specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “To remember and to see what firefighters went through on 9/11.”

    200 personnel participated in the memorial stair climb; some completed the stair climb with children in baby carriers, while others did so in full firefighting equipment.

    “I feel it is important to remember those who lost their lives that day, and even with a pandemic going on, letting them know that we remember.” said Lopez. 

    On the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, personnel on base came together to show their gratitude, and to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.



    Date Taken: 09.10.2021
    Date Posted: 09.21.2021 02:05
    Story ID: 405653

    Web Views: 20
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