First responders climb 110 flights in memory of 9/11 victims

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More than 500 First responders remembered those who died on September 11, 2001, two days before the 16th anniversary of the national tragedy.

The men and women wore full gear as they scaled Renaissance Tower in Downtown Dallas, and carried with them the name and picture of a first responder who died on 9/11.

Renaissance Tower is 55 stories tall, half the height of the Twin Towers, so the first responders made the trip twice.

At the finish, the first responders rang a bell as each fallen hero was remembered by name.

“I just think 'there’s somebody at the top I’m trying to get to' that’s the only thing that keeps me going because it hurts,” said Officer Jerry Ramsey with the Longview Police Department, “I just want them to know we will not forget and we appreciate what they did and the sacrifices they made.”

Retired New York City Fire Lieutenant Joe Torrillo remembers every detail of that day.

“I left my office in headquarters and someone said 'a plane hit the World Trade Center.' It was only about an eighth of a mile away,” he said, “I heard a roar and the second jet came right over my head.”

Torrillo says he yelled for everyone to get away before becoming trapped in the rubble.

“I’m buried under steel and concrete with all these other people. we couldn’t see each other. They were all screaming at the top of their lungs 'Please help me. Help me' after a while those screams turned to cries, cries to whimpers, whimpers to silence. They had all died and i was still breathing,” he said.

Torrillo lived to tell his story and now travels the country sharing it with others.

“I’m not normally at a loss for words but on days like this, it leaves me speechless because I never ever could have believed that people so distant from NYC, people who’ve never been to New York, people from the south and west, I would never believe they had so much compassion for us.”