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Letter: Colorado Firefighter Climbs for Levittown Firefighter Killed on 9/11

My name is Matt Seube and I am a firefighter with Falcon Fire Department near Colorado Springs, CO. On Sept. 11, there was the Annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb of the Qwest Tower in Denver, Colorado, which is climbed twice to equal the 110 stories of the World Trade Centers.

This tower is climbed twice by 343 firefighters that are grouped together from fire departments around the nation. Four other members from my department were with me this year. The day started with a moment of silence, prayer for the families of those who lost someone in the two towers and the play of a single bagpipe. As the days grew near of September 11, I learned that we would all be given a badge of one of the 343 members who perished. As we bunked up and awaited our moment to begin the daunting climb, our group was called and we made our way to the doorway to begin the climb.

I was given the badge with a picture of Lt. Kevin W. Donnelly of Ladder 3 of FDNY. I was very far from being in the shape needed to make the climb. The energy came from the fact that this day wasn’t about me. It was about the 343 FDNY members and many other civilians that perished that day. This day was about Lt. Kevin Donnelly. As I entered each flight, I looked at Lt. Donnelly’s picture and told myself this was for him. Our group climbed all flights and made it to the top of the Qwest Tower roof. We paused and then took a picture of our group. It was humbling and sobering on many levels. Some cried. Some stood in silence as the wind cooled us off and gave us the oxygen we desperately needed.

As I came home that day, I wanted to do my best to contact someone of Lt. Donnelly’s family. No such luck. I am writing to the Levittown Tribune in the hopes of reaching out to someone that knew him or his family. On Sept. 11, I climbed for Lt. Kevin W. Donnelly. I will carry his picture in my fire helmet always. Thank you to his family, friends and fire brethren and sisters of whom may have known him. Thank you for his service and devotion to the fire service. Thank you for the opportunity to carry him another 110 stories.

In Remembrance,

FF Matt Seube -

Falcon Fire Department - Falcon, CO

 (Editor’s Note: Kevin W. Donnelly was a member of the Wantagh Fire Department, having joined in October of 1976.)