KWU to host second annual 9/11 memorial stair climb

Written by on September 4, 2023

By Ryah Klima / Photography Editor

On Sept. 11, 2001 the United States faced a devastating loss. Twenty-two years later, the nation still reflects on this event annually to remember the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks. One of the many ways the country honors the tragic event is by hosting Memorial Stair Climbs across the United States. The memorial stair climb consists of climbing the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs in order to commemorate the flights of stairs climbed by the Fire Department of New York on that fateful day. This year, the Salina Fire Department is hosting the second annual central Kansas stair climb at Kansas Wesleyan University’s very own JRI Stadium.  

Mac Sianez, Student Engagement and Success Coordinator at KWU, was able to give some insight as to why hosting this event is so significant for students.  

“I think that it not only gives students an incentive to go because it’s an easy walk for them but makes them also realize that this is important to the campus and its staff and faculty members,” Sianez said. “It’s important to realize the community that we are in right now, and how important the community is, and how deeply it affects us without us even realizing it.”  

She added when discussing why student participation is so important in events like the stair climb, “It really helps give us more of a realization that we are really all in this together.”  

Fire Chief of the SFD, Tony Sneidar, was able to provide more understanding on the significance of the annual stair climb.  

“I would venture to say that those of us who lived through that day as adults remember where we were on September 11, 2001. Where we were when we first heard about the nightmare unfolding in New York, just down the road in Washington, D.C., and then in Pennsylvania,” Sneidar said. “Even for those who didn’t live through it, and for many who are not old enough to remember it, that day is part of who we are. In some ways, it made us who we are.

Site of the Memorial Stair Climb

Photo by Ryah Klima / The stairs at the Graves Family Sports Complex where the event will be held.

” Sneidar encourages students to attend and participate in the stair climb this year.  

“I would suggest that the KWU students educate themselves on the events of that fateful day. The lives lost, the families devastated, and how our world has changed into what it is today,” Sneidar said.  

The 2nd Annual Central Kansas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb & 5K Family Fun walk takes place on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at KWU’s JRI Stadium. Students interested in participating can register at, and get a discount by using the code KWU23S.  

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