Other 9/11 remembrances

Broomfield:

Broomfield police and the North Metro Fire Rescue District will host a 9/11 memorial ceremony beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The event, which will feature the ringing of a ceremonial bell, as well as bagpipes and the playing of "Taps," will start at the Broomfield Amphitheater, 3 Community Park Road, before migrating to the nearby Broomfield 9/11 Memorial monument park.

University of Colorado:

The University of Colorado College Republicans will take to the Norlin Quad at 5 p.m. Wednesday to begin placing 2,996 miniature American flags in the ground, each signifying a life lost in the attacks on New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

Bearing photographs of fallen colleagues and loaded down with heavy equipment, 19 Boulder firefighters Wednesday will climb the 55 stories of Denver's CenturyLink Tower -- twice.

The idea behind the grueling climb, being undertaken by 343 firefighters from across Colorado, is to remember the 343 firefighters and paramedics who were killed in New York City in the 9/11 terrorist attacks as they worked to save lives in the 110-story World Trade Center Towers.

First organized in 2005, the Denver memorial stair climb is among dozens of similar events taking place Wednesday across the country.

Matt Zavala, an engineer for Boulder Fire, will participate in his fourth climb up the tower, 1801 California St. It's an annual tradition that he says has deep emotional meaning for the participants.

Prior to the climb, each participant is given a name tag with a picture of one of the fallen New York City firefighters. Zavala said many pin the tags to their jackets, which reminds them why they are taking on the demanding physical challenge.

"It's a way for firefighters in Boulder and across the country to build camaraderie and honor the sacrifice that those 343 made," Zavala said. "It's a pretty humbling event when it's all over."

While participants have the option to climb in athletic gear, Zavala and many others will take on the first 55 stories in full gear with a hose pack and ax, before unloading some of that and taking on the second leg while breathing in oxygen from their tanks.

"It's hard because you're carrying all this weight," Zavala said, estimating that full gear weighs 75 pounds. "It not like a typical race, where you warm up. You just get your gear on and go. Our job requires us to be ready on a moment's notice, and that's what happened on that morning."

Kim Scott, Boulder Fire Rescue's fire safety coordinator, said the 19 department participants this year run the gamut from new firefighters to seasoned veterans.

"It brings our staff together on a united front," Scott said. "You have to make a commitment to yourself to keep on learning and keep on training and bettering yourself."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328, rubinoj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JoeCarmenRubino.