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“I think that says a lot.": More than 100 join Alachua County Fire Rescue in The Swamp to honor 9/11

It took about 11 trips in The Swamp for people to walk more than 2,000 steps in honor of 9/11.
Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 11:29 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -First responders, fire rescue and friends from the community spent their Friday evening in The Swamp replicating the journey up the World Trade Center as one.

“It’s second to none. You can’t compare,” said Austin Burrell with Alachua County Fire Rescue.

Burrell along with a crowd of his colleagues gathered for a moment of silence and a prayer before the start of the climb.

“It’s amazing,” said Burrell. “Especially, I think this year is especially important because a lot of things are being put on hold due to COVID. So for us to come together even during this time and for people who do the necessary precautions. I think that says a lot.”

Some firefighters climbed in full gear weighing anywhere from 50 to 60 pounds. With social distancing and a break or two in between, people of all colors, creeds and ages took 11 trips up and down in sections of the stadium.

“I think it’s important for us to not forget what happened in the past, like you said even though she wasn’t born beforehand that we still talk about it,” said Holly Ignatz.

Ignatz is a mom and nurse native to Gainesville and with her daughter, Holly, said her family is at The Swamp nearly every day. Although, their workout came with a lesson of gratitude to go home with.

“Show our little bit of support and sacrifice for those families,” added Ignatz. “To the children that never met their mother or their fathers. It’s important to me as a mom to show that to my children.”

One step at a time, more than 100 people climbed 2,226 steps alongside those who serve on the front lines in their community and in honor of those who answered the call to service, 19 years ago.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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