NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston Southern University’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 772 cadets honored the first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice 20 years ago.

Fifty cadets walked the equivalent of 10 stories or 2,071 stairs of the World Trade Center to honor those first responders Friday morning.

On September 22, 2001, 343 police officers, firefighters and medics took to the stairwells of the World Trade Center in an effort to save injured citizens trapped within the towers. Unfortunately, many of those responders never made it out before the towers collapsed.

This stair climb is a symbolic completion of the mission in honor of those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

These cadets began their walk at 5:55 a.m. Friday morning and continued throughout the morning until they reached the 2,071 steps.