. . . a morning full of memories from the 343 climb, but none will stay with me longer than being in the stairwell while the firefighters climbed and the overpowering sound of THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY THREE distress alarms simultaneously sounding, resonating back and forth freely against the walls, without the “obstruction” of open space to dissipate the noise.
Three hundred and forty three alarms signaling the precise time the south tower fell.
Only then did they all stop and pause quietly for a moment of silence, which was then interrupted by a sad slow sound in the distance - a TX trooper sounding taps.
And their climbing resumed, ‘til just once more those hundreds of alarms sounded again,
corresponding to the time of the north tower's collapse.
They climbed, not racing, but staying together as a crew, always smiling, always thanking US, as we handed them water, cheering those amazing women and men on as they memorialized the 343 lives lost by climbing 110 floors in full turnout gear.