UC to mark 20th anniversary of 9/11 with Stair Run

Sixth-annual Stair Run on Friday will pay tribute to victims and first responders

The University of Cincinnati will mark the 20th anniversary of terror attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., on Friday with the sixth-annual 9/11 Stair Run at Nippert Stadium.

Organized in 2015 by UC’s Office of Veterans Programs & Services and UC's Army & Air Force ROTC programs , the Stair Run encourages participants to walk, run or climb 2,071 steps at Nippert Stadium representing the steps in the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Most students beginning their first year at UC are too young to remember the terrorist attacks that prompted aviation officials to ground air traffic across the United States and Canada and led to the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

The tragedy affected countless families and shaped U.S. foreign policy for the last 20 years. U.S. and allied forces withdrew from Afghanistan in August.

“Sept. 11, 2001, should never be forgotten,” said Terence Harrison, VPS program manager and an Iraq War combat veteran. “We would like the region to know that UC will never take their sacrifice lightly.”

A student carrying an American flag runs the steps at Nippert Stadium.

Students, first responders and members of the public are invited to climb the steps at Nippert Stadium in honor of the victims of 9/11. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

The Stair Run honors the victims and first responders of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and Flight 93, a hijacked commercial jet that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers tried to regain control of the airplane from hijackers.

The attacks killed 2,996 people, including the 19 hijackers. Toxic exposure from the collapsed buildings sickened and killed thousands more people.

UC is hosting the event on Friday because the university has to prepare the stadium for Saturday’s football game against Murray State University.

The run is free and open to the public. Registration begins at 5:30 a.m. The run takes place at 6:46 a.m. and lasts for 56 minutes — the time people had to evacuate the south tower before it collapsed.

Those who cannot climb steps are welcome to use the accessible concourse route if they want to participate.

“We understand that not everyone has the ability to run up and down stairs for nearly an hour,” Harrison said. “We want to provide more options for those who wish to participate in this solemn event.”

Garage parking passes are available to the first 200 people who request one here.

About 600 people took part in the Stair Run in 2019. The 2020 event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harrison thanked the UC Division of Student Affairs, UC Athletics, Ohio VFW Charities, the Cincinnati-Lafayette No. 483 Free & Accepted Masons of Ohio and other groups for their participation. More than 3% of UC graduates last year were military veterans or dependents of veterans.

For more information, call Veterans Programs & Services at 513-556-6811.

Featured image at top: UC students climb the stairs at Nippert Stadium to honor victims of 9/11. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

Firefighters climb the steps wearing turnout gear and air tanks.

Cincinnati area firefighters join the tribute, running the steps in their turnout gear. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

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