While many years have come and gone since the tragedy of 9/11, for Veterans, that day will always have profound meaning. For many of us who have served – or are still serving – it was after 9/11 that we answered our nation’s call to take up arms and fight to protect the freedoms and way of life we cherish. We swore to support and defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And, in doing so, our lives were forever changed. Our military was sent to war in unfamiliar territory against an even more unknown enemy – and many of us did not make it home. Those who lost their lives – both on 9/11 and in the fight following – must be honored, remembered, and never forgotten.
That is why our Vet Ex 9/11 Memorial Climb is so incredibly important to our community and those that have been impacted by 9/11. The greatest way to honor the fallen is through living our lives to the absolute fullest. To spend the day outdoors on our public lands, honoring and appreciating the freedom and opportunities we have – gives their ultimate sacrifice meaning and purpose.
As we rallied in the Flatirons parking lot early in the morning, the enthusiasm and stoke of the group was almost palpable. Everyone was genuinely excited to get out and spend the day climbing some awesome routes with even more awesome friends. After Nick’s opening welcome to our group and we all knew the plan for the day, we divided up our rope teams, threw on our lightweight Osprey packs, and hit the trail. With support from our sponsors – #Petzl, #Osprey, #Sterling – we were able to outfit our entire group with everything we needed to be successful.
Despite the heat of the day, we kept our cool as we scaled over 500 feet of slab granite – laughing, struggling, and learning up the rock face. Our commemorative climb was to honor and appreciate the ultimate sacrifice of our fallen brothers and sisters. In coming together to enjoy some of Colorado’s most iconic rock climbs and symbolically raise our flags atop the summit of each Flatiron, our community of Veterans did just that.