As Americans remembered the victims of 9/11 on the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks, one man's emotional tribute for the firefighters lost on the day went viral.
33-year-old Jason Harding of Tennessee, a public safety officer with a history of working as a firefighter, typically participates in Nashville's Memorial Stair Climb to honor the 343 firefighters lost on 9/11. The climb comprises of 110 flights of stairs, which together represent the height of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers.
Unable to make it to this year's event, Harding reportedly honored his fallen comrades in a different way at his local Planet Fitness on Sunday morning.
"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," Lezlie Bauler, the front desk receptionist at the gym, wrote on Facebook.
Bauler reportedly allowed Harding to use the stair machine in full firefighting gear. While Harding completed the 110 sets on the machine, Bauler snapped a photo of him and posted it to Facebook. As of September 12, the photo has received 112,000 shares.
"I am not one to get emotional, but a few tears were shed," Bauler wrote on Facebook. "Thank you for your services."
"The way this picture has gone viral is incredible! I would have never thought it would happen," Bauler wrote to A Plus. "I just simply posted the picture because I wanted my friends to see it. It truly has left me speechless."
Although the photo went viral, Harding noted that he was not looking for any personal recognition.
"I have received so many private messages via Facebook from people expressing [their] support, gratitude and blessings," Harding told Buffalo television station WGRZ. "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 is proof that although we seem divided as a country at times, we unite at the most crucial times."
A Plus reached out to Harding for a comment.