I had the absolute honor of kicking off the YMCA NWLA's 4th annual 9/11 commemorative stair climb.

To say this was a wonderful experience would be a monstrous understatement. I was beyond thrilled to help the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana kick-off their annual commemorative stair climb in honor of the 2,977 individuals who unfortunately lost their life on September 11th, 2001.

As I began to climb, before the pain set in, I found myself thinking about where I was in 2001. I can't remember many events from my time in elementary and middle school at Walnut Hill. Heck, I can barely remember my time at Evangel in high school.

Yet, like many of you, I remember the details of 9/11 as if it was yesterday. I was a 5th grader at Walnut Hill Elementary School, and we had just gotten back into the classroom after P.E. Our teacher, who was an older, yet very strong woman, sank in her chair after returning to the classroom. She told us that something horrible had happened, and there was a good chance that we would be getting checked-out very soon. She sat there in silence, and you could visibly see the disbelief on her face. We had no clue what had happened seemingly minutes earlier as the news began to spread across the nation.

We were young, ten years old at the time. I remember sitting in that classroom genuinely fearful of what this all meant. After all, we weren't really given much context. For a fifth grader, something terrible happening could be many things. Maybe the cafeteria ran out of food or recess is cancelled for the day. No, all of us in that classroom new this was something different, something bigger than we had ever experienced before. The air in that room was just so heavy, and we all sat in silence as one-by-one, students began getting called to check-out.

My mom arrived quickly, and I remember getting in the car with her and seeing her quietly emotional as she drove, much like teacher as she sat at her desk. I asked her what had happened, and she tried her best to explain it in a way a 5th grader would understand. From there, we went home, and my mother and I sat on the living room floor, watching the news. My mom was crying watching that television, and I was crying because she was crying.

Every student in America grew up a little bit that day, I know I did.

For whatever reason, that memory came to my mind as I stepped foot on that Stairmaster, looking a 1,980 steps in my very near future. I also began to think about those 2,977 individuals who lost their life that day. Naturally, I thought about those firefighters who fearlessly arrived at that scene, and began making that climb. Many of them were climbing directly to their death, and they knew it, yet that didn't slow them down one bit.

This was an amazing experience at the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana today. Tomorrow, their 4th annual commemorative stair climb event will kick-off, and it will be going on all day long. The event is open to anyone and everyone who would like to honor those who perished on 9/11 in this special way.

To reserve your 25-minute session, click HERE.



Best Shreveport-Bossier Neighborhoods for Trick-Or-Treating

Look: How Shreveport-Bossier Has Changed from 2007 to Now

25 Ways to Say You're From Shreveport Without Saying You're From Shreveport

Shreveport's Fair Grounds Field is Depressing

Best Burgers in Shreveport-Bossier

More From News Radio 710 KEEL