Knicks alum Allan Houston said it was "special" to honor first responders at Madison Square Garden

By Claudia Harmata
April 09, 2019 12:49 PM
New York Knicks

The New York Knicks held their second annual Knicks 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb charity event on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, raising $50,000 for the families of fallen 9/11 firefighters.

“Everyone in New York remembers that day and what that day meant to the city,” former Knicks player Allan Houston said of the event. “For it to be here, at Madison Square Garden, to be able to be a part of a legacy — honoring the sacrifices that first responders and their family made — it’s special to be able to honor that.”

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Hundreds of participants honored the firefighters who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks by climbing 110 flights of stairs. The event, organized by The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, took place throughout the lower bowl of Madison Square Garden and around the arena.

This year will mark the 18th anniversary of 9/11, and families of first responders are still feeling its devastating impact.

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“My father was a first responder, FDNY in 9/11. He survived that day, but he died 17 years later from cancer due to his exposure from the dust,” Bridget Gormley, who spoke at the opening ceremony for the charity event, said.

For Gormley, seeing those at Madison Square Garden over the weekend was moving, and she hopes these events continue to raise awareness of the lasting impact the terrorist attacks still have on families in New York and throughout the country.

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“A lot of people think 9/11 was one day, however people are still dying from the after effects of it,” she explained. “So in that sense, a lot of people relive 9/11 on a daily basis and so we really have to never, never forget because its a daily occurrence.”

The funds raised by the event go directly toward helping these families, as well as the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows and Children’s Fund and the FDNY Counseling Services Unit.