On a deceptively calm Tuesday morning, firefighters and first responders from all across Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks took a moment away from their hurricane preparations to honor their fallen brethren with an annual climb to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
The climb took place at exactly 8:46 a.m. – the time that that American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City – and the firefighters made the trek weighted down in full gear as a tribute to the first responders who made their way up the Twin Towers.
The annual event, which began in 2012, is orchestrated to honor the 2997 people who died that day in New York, Washington, D.C., and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. More than 400 first responders perished at the Twin Towers, including 343 firefighters, 23 members of the New York City police force, and 37 members of the Port Authority Police.
Though there were understandably fewer participants at this year’s climb, due to the approach of Hurricane Florence, firefighters nevertheless reached the top of the lighthouse roughly 15 minutes after the climb began to hang an American flag – an annual gesture to honor the people who lost their lives 17 years ago.
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