Green Bay students--some born after 9/11--climb bleachers to honor victims

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Students--some of whom were not born yet on Sept. 11, 2001--spent the day honoring the victims with a bleacher climb at Green Bay West High School.

For the past three years, the physical education department has held a memorial bleacher climb in honor of the 343 New York firefighters who died in the attack on the World Trade Center.

Sonny Cannella, a junior at Green Bay West, was born a few days after 9/11.

"I was thinking, going up and down, this is not even a fraction of how many steps they went up and down. I said they were probably running a lot harder than I was," Cannella says.

Throughout the day, students and firefighters climbed the bleachers at Del Marcel Stadium.

At 9:45 a.m., the Wind Ensemble performed the "Star Spangled Banner."

PE Teacher Emily Rausch carried a ruck sack during the climb.

"My sister is over in Kuwait right now, so I kind of wanted to see what she does. She always talks about her rucks and how heavy the pack it is, so I figured I'd give it a shot," Rausch said.

Climbers were also able to do the climb in firefighter gear. That gives them an idea of the weight on the firefighters who climbed the World Trade Center that day.

"I was thinking about how heavy the suit was and how other firefighters, how they have to deal with this every single day," says Marshall LeCloux, sophomore.

During class periods, PE students climbed or walked the bleachers 11 times. That's one tenth of the 110 stories the firefighters climbed on Sept. 11.

"I don't talk during the Pledge of Allegiance. I don't talk during the National Anthem. I just keep all that close to my heart. My family is in the military and I just kind of keep it close to me," Cannella says.

Organizer Autumn Dickie heads up the West High School PE department. She remembers where she was during the 9/11 attacks.

"I was here on the football field. We were playing flag football and it came across my walkie talkie. Please bring in all kids. We don't know what's going on. We're in lockdown," Dickie remembers.

Dickie says the event helps kids who were not yet born at the time of the attacks to appreciate the history.

"But I also wanted to tie it to remembering what happened on 9/11 years ago, some of our kids weren't even around, so just to show the impact," Dickie says.