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Oklahoma firefighters prepare for 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb to honor victims

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OKLAHOMA CITY - This year marks 14 years since 9/11, a date that is engraved in the minds of many.

On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists invaded and attacked our country, killing thousands of innocent civilians.

For the past four years, firefighters in our state and from Texas participate in a stair climb to remember the civilians and hundreds of New York firefighters killed on that day.

This year, a pair of Oklahoma firefighters are also being honored.

Lt. Steve Smith, also known as "Smitty" with the Woodward Fire Department, passed away from cancer in 2014.

Capt. Jason Farley, with the Claremore Fire Department, died during a water rescue during flooding this spring.

The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is taking place inside the Chase Bank building, one that stands tall in the Oklahoma City skyline.

Taking a closer look at the 36 floor skyscraper, firefighters from Oklahoma and Texas will come together to climb the stairs in this building, multiple times.

"110 floors for the 343 FDNY brothers that were lost on 9/11/2001. It's hard work, it's a long trip, but it's all worth it," said Oklahoma City firefighter Joe Russell.

Every step of the way counts, remembering all of the lives lost during the terrorist attack on New York City's Twin Towers.

"It takes a toll on your body but, when you stop to think about it, that they went in there, no questions asked, and they did their job to save as many lives as they did on 9/11," Russell said.

"We're just trying to follow in their footsteps," said Yukon firefighter Josh Reason. "If we can be somewhat what they have been for our nation and our history, we can remind everybody to never forget."

The Oklahoma City 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is on Saturday, Sept. 12.

The opening ceremony is at 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Chase Bank Building.

This is also a fundraiser; registration proceeds and donations benefit the Oklahoma Firefighter Foundation, which helps families who have lost their homes to fires.

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