Bleacher climb at Green Bay’s West High honors fallen heroes

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – There is one crucial reason one school in our area wants to make sure the September 11 attacks are never forgotten.

“None of the students were alive for this event,” says Green Bay West High School Principal Michelle Jacobson.

That’s exactly why Jacobson said the school holds the annual bleacher climb, which was put on hold last year because of the pandemic.

“It’s important for them to be able to connect those dots. This is why we do things because things happened and for them to remember that and to understand,” adds Jacobson.

This year marks a decade of the event.

Each step taken by students on the bleachers is meant to be symbolic — for the 343 New York City firefighters who never made it home from Ground Zero.

A reminder that remains fresh all these years later in Green Bay.

“This (anniversary) is a somber experience,” says Nick Craig with Green Bay Metro Fire Department. “Thinking what their mindset was, I’m sure a lot of them were scared. And I’m sure it was difficult. I heard stories they just didn’t want to leave. They wanted to get so many people out of that building.”

Students climbed the bleachers 11 times. That equates to nearly one-tenth of the 110 stories the Twin Towers once stood.

“I continue to honor just by serving. And continuing to try and get other people to serve as well. To never stop speaking about it or stop standing up for our beliefs in this country,” says Staff Sergeant Grant Soletski with the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

Some students quite literally taking on the weight firefighters would have endured, carrying pounds and pounds of sand and water.

“It’s important we keep their memory alive. And by them doing this today they’re honoring those firefighters,” explains Craig.

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