190911 911 Run 2

Members of the UNA baseball team, ROTC unit and others run the bleachers at Braly Stadium this morning in remembrance of 9-11. [MATT MCKEAN/TIMESDAILY]

FLORENCE — Students in the University of North Alabama's ROTC program, as well as some members of the community, were up before dawn this morning to join in a hefty stair climb at Braly Stadium.

Participants climbed 2,996 steps from 5:45 to 7 a.m. in remembrance of the 2,996 lives lost in the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

ROTC participants carried heavy weights, some the size and shape of an average person, to get a feel for what it was like for first responders who carried victims to safety that day.

The ROTC's Memorial Climb was just the start of their public remembrance efforts today.

The department honored the late Maj. Dwayne Williams, a UNA graduate and former football player who was killed when a plane was deliberately crashed into the Pentagon 18 years ago today.

ROTC students are marching with the flag silently across campus and downtown Florence until 3 p.m. today. The public is invited to observe this march, but is asked to refrain from interacting.

—kendyl.hollingsworth@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5757. Follow on Twitter @TD_KendylH

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