This is the sweetest thing.
A Planet Fitness employee snapped a picture yesterday that almost immediately went viral on Facebook, and for the best of reasons: it showed one man’s incredible tribute to the fallen first responders of the September 11 terror attacks 15 years ago.
The pic (above) was taken by employee Lezlie Bauler, and shows firefighter Jason Harding at a Planet Fitness location in Tennessee on the Stairmaster — and yes, he’s doing exactly what you think: simulating a 110-set stair climb to replicate what New York’s finest did on that horrible day in 2001.
With the pic, Bauler shared a small bit of Harding’s story, writing:
“This man asked if it was okay for him to climb 110 sets, fully suited, of stairs in honor of his fallen brothers and sisters for 9-11. Yes sir, you can. I am not one to get emotional, but a few tears were shed. Thank you for your services.”
Awww!! That is so amazing.
Harding himself was surprised that his gesture is receiving such attention (it had been shared nearly 150,000 times on Facebook by Monday morning).
Citing the fact that he wasn’t able to attend Nashville’s annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, he said wanted to make up the gesture by doing this:
“When I went to the gym this morning at 6 a.m. before coming onto shift I was only wanting to honor the fallen heroes and their families on this day 15-years ago. Many stated my act brought them to tears but little do they know, their support did the same for me. I want to thank everyone that shared and commented in response to this post. It it proof that although we seem divided as a country at times, we unite at the most crucial times. I am honored to be a Firefighter, a Police Officer and a Paramedic. I have been in emergency services for the most of my career after college and wouldn’t change that for anything.”
Such a cool and important moment all around.
Here’s to Harding for managing to find his own way to honor our fallen heroes, and to Bauler for capturing it and sharing the inspiring event with the world!
[Image via Facebook.]