An ensemble of Northland firefighters conquered Mount Parihaka in full gear to commemorate both their 65 fallen Kiwi comrades, and the 343 New York firefighters who died in the 9/11 attacks.
Onerahi Volunteer Fire Brigade station officer Brian Powell organised the humble commemoration in lieu of the annual The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb event in Auckland – postponed on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks due to New Zealand's Covid outbreak.
Powell was joined by fellow firefighters Ingo Junge (Onerahi), Paul Austin (Marsden 22 - Refinery), and brothers Daniel and Jonny Halton (Kamo) to pay their respects with a 6km hike up the popular mountain in central Whangārei on Saturday.
Powell said he couldn't let the day pass without acknowledging those fallen firefighters, especially having visited New York's "sobering" 9/11 memorial sites on multiple occassions and stayed in the New York Fire Department.
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"Having seen that first-hand makes you really passionate," he said. "They saved so many lives on that day – it was such a sacrifice. I just didn't want Saturday to pass without doing something to acknowledge that."
Powell helps organisers with New Zealand's 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.