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News from CNREURAFCENT

Never Forget: NSA Naples Community Member Plans a Memorial Event Honoring 9/11

31 August 2022

From Aaliyah Essex

NAPLES, Italy -- Sept. 11, 2001 left a lasting memory on the hearts of people across the nation. For Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples’ community member Rob Norman, this memory is one that he has committed to honoring positively. As a former firefighter, Norman was inspired to plan the 9/11 Stair Climb Challenge that will take place from Sept. 5 – 9.
NAPLES, Italy -- Sept. 11, 2001 left a lasting memory on the hearts of people across the nation. For Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples’ community member Rob Norman, this memory is one that he has committed to honoring positively.

As a former firefighter, Norman was inspired to plan the 9/11 Stair Climb Challenge that will take place from Sept. 5 – 9.

Volunteers can come to the Capodichino Fit Zone or the Support Site Fitness Forum from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to climb as many of the 110 stories (one of the Twin Towers) or 220 stories (both towers) as possible.

“This is something we can do as an effort to ensure we, ‘Never Forget’. It commemorates the anniversary and the sacrifices [Fire Department City of New York (FDNY) firefighters] made. […] I hope that it can be a lasting tradition here at NSA Naples,” said Norman.  

For Norman, this event was sparked by both the inspiration and sadness he felt yearly as he remembered the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

Norman explained how he initially took the annual remembrance period for 9/11 to watch documentaries, where he would be overwhelmed with emotions. After a few years, he decided to change the way he honored the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in service during the attacks.

“One year, I decided to go to the gym and I did 110 stories on the stair climbers. After that, I would do 220 stories because there were two towers, each 110 stories,” said Norman.
Norman said, he climbed the stories thinking, if the firefighters did what they did to save people, he could endure the hardship of these 110/220 stories of steps.

Now, he plans events to help others honor their sacrifice and memory.

He recalled the story about Stephen G. Siller, FDNY firefighter who ran 3 kilometers to the World Trade Center to serve his community and his nation.

He described New York City Battalion Chief Orio Palmer, one of the first reported first responders to reach the 78th floor of the South Tower after the attacks.

“If a situation ever arose, I hope to be as brave as them,” said Norman. “As they went into the building, a majority had to think they may not be coming out.”

Norman says he hopes people use the 9/11 Stair Climb Challenge to think about what first responders experienced in those moments.

The event is sponsored by NSA Naples Fire and Emergency services and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR).

MWR Fitness Director Austin Holmes encourages people to participate as a way to promote fitness for a great cause.

“Patrons can partake in this challenge while honoring the firefighters that lost their lives on 9/11,” said Holmes.

Participants will receive race bibs and patches as they partake in the challenge.

All MWR eligible patrons are encouraged to take on the challenge.

For more information and to sign up, visit either fitness centers or call 081-811-6803.

NSA Naples is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed, when they are needed to ensure security and stability in the European, African, and Central Command areas of responsibility.

For more news on NSA Naples and the Sailors who serve onboard the installation, please follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/NSANaples/.
 
 
 
 
 
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