Snowmass first responders continue walk in remembrance of 9/11
On Sept. 11, a small group of local Roaring Fork Fire Rescue responders walked 3 miles from Snowmass Town Park to the Top of the Village for the fifth annual Axes and Arms 9/11 Climb.
Last year, the climb drew more than 50 first responders and village community members, who all walked up Brush Creek Road in remembrance of the bravery exhibited and ultimate sacrifices made by first responders during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 19 years ago.
This year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual climb was limited to just 10 Roaring Fork Rescue responders and their family members, who kept the tradition alive and walked socially distanced, two-by-two — most in full bunker gear — to the Top of the Village, escorted by Roaring Fork Fire Rescue engines and Snowmass Police.
“If we’re truly never going to forget then we can’t take the easy way out and not do this, ya know?” said Andy Fisher, Roaring Fork Fire Rescue lieutenant. “It’s too important not to.”
Fisher said that over the past five years, the Axes and Arms 9/11 climb has really begun to gain momentum, with more and more locals participating each year. The Axes and Arms Foundation supports the climb and is a local nonprofit that helps area emergency service providers and their families in critical times of need, as previously reported.
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The foundation members hoped to have roughly 100 people participate this year until the pandemic hit, causing the shift to a more private climb with a restricted group size, Fisher said.
Regardless of how many people were there, the local firefighters and police officers continued to honor the victims and first responders who died on 9/11 and hope to invite the larger community to join in again next year.
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Snowmass Village’s status as a resort and as a community isn’t an “either/or” debate, according to the town’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan. The question now is how the town can balance both, ensuring a sustainable resort economy that also supports the local community.