A photo of a firefighter in full gear on a stair climbing machine posted on social media this weekend has touched the hearts of people across the country.
Lezlie Bauler works at Planet Fitness in Maryville, Tennessee.
On Sunday, a firefighter walked into the gym and asked her if he could climb 110 sets of stairs — what it would have taken to reach the top of the World Trade Center — in full gear “in honor of his fallen brothers and sisters for 9-11.”
Bauler said yes, and proceeded to take a picture of him in the middle of his set.
Bauler’s picture of the firefighter, later identified as Public Safety Officer Jason Harding, has garnered over 145,000 shares on Facebook.
There has been an awe-inspiring amount of comments and posts made about Harding, honoring his services and dedication to pay respects to those who have fallen.
Harding, who has participated in Nashville’s 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb for the last four years, was unable to make it to this year’s event because he was on duty, according to BuzzFeed News. So, he decided to go to the gym and climb the stairs before going to work.
In a statement to WTLV, Harding said:
“When I went to the gym this morning at 6am before coming onto shift I was only wanting to honor the fallen heroes and their families on this day 15 years ago. I was not and still not looking for any self recognition. As a Public Safety Officer and McGhee Tyson airport officer, I am honored to be a Firefighter, a Police Officer, and a Paramedic.”
Harding’s heartfelt gesture and statement has touched many all over the country.
At the end of Bauler’s post, she added, “I am not one to get emotional, but a few tears were shed.”
Others on social media shared this opinion, commenting that they have also gotten teary-eyed over the post.
Harding responded to this, remarking, “Many stated my act brought them to tears but little do they know, their support did the same for me.”
Harding’s heartfelt gesture and statement has outlined the importance of 9/11 and the distance Americans are willing to go to show support for those who have died protecting their country.
Banner image credit: Facebook, Lezlie Bauler