BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the world remembers the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, an event was held Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium that was much bigger than football.

Justin Maddox was not yet born when the tragic events of September 11 took place 20 years ago, but thanks to his father, William, it’s a day he knows all about.

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“I’m here with my son, so he doesn’t forget when I’m gone,” William Maddox said.

The father-son duo, with the English Consul Volunteer Fire Department, are joining firefighters, family and friends from across the state, as they make their way around M&T Bank Stadium, climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. Justin is thinking about the heroes who gave their lives to carry him through.

“I’m going to be thinking, ‘Someone else did this and sacrificed everything,’ and I can do it too,” he said.

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Now in its tenth year, the memorial stair climb raises money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. This year, they have more than 400 people participating, each carrying a tag with the name and photo of one of the 343 firefighters who lost his or her life that day.

“It gives everybody a chance to make a special memorial, and it’s really important that we never forget,” said Mya McConnell, battalion chief with the Baltimore City Fire Department.

And with each step taken, they are sure to remember.

“We have police, we have fire, EMS, homeland security. To me, if we forgot them, we might as well give up everything,” William Maddox said.

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Saturday, they raised more than $40,000 for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Sean Streicher