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Thursday, May 23, 2024
The Observer

Duncan Hall hosts fifth annual ND 110 to honor first responders

While a gray South Bend sky loomed overhead Monday night, Notre Dame Stadium lights illuminated ND 110, Duncan’s Hall signature charity event. On the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, students gathered to climb 110 flights of stairs to mirror the climb faced by the firefighters and police officers who responded to the World Trade Centers in New York on Sept. 11. 

More people joined the climb than any other year since Duncan Hall began hosting the ND 110 half a decade ago.

Participants of this year’s ND 110 Stair Climb, hosted by Duncan Hall, climb up Notre Dame Stadium to honor the first responders who died in 9/11.

“Working for the event has been amazing,” Sean Miller, one of Duncan Hall’s vice presidents said. “It means a lot to everyone in the dorm, especially those who have connections to 9/11, and we’re really excited for this year.”

The event began in 2019, when over 120 students and firefights ran the stairs while raising over $2,000 for Heart 9/11. In the tradition’s fifth year, Duncan Hall president Matthew Sims said that almost $21,000 was raised this year.

“It was so awesome to know we were able to give that much to an organization that provides so much good in the world,” Sims said. 

The fundraising effort was bolstered by around 850 climbers, which included individuals, several sports teams and different ROTC branches. 

A group of South Bend firefighters who attended the climb this year said they participated in Duncan Hall’s event because of the 343 firefighters and 60 police officers who lost their lives on 9/11. The firefighters said they continue to mark 9/11 each year to represent the first responders who died and their families.

Liam Butler, a freshman who did the climb this year, said ND 110 was a memorable experience for him.

“I have a lot of friends who were impacted by 9/11, so it really meant a lot to me running out there. It was humid, it was hot, but I loved it,” Butler said.

But while this event may be five years old, Duncan Hall unveiled a new component to ND 110 this year, known as the “Flag Run.”

Starting at 7 p.m. Sunday night, members of Duncan Hall began running an American flag around campus, taking turns over the next 24 hours to ensure that the flag remained moving until the start of ND 110. 

Braden Whitelatch, a freshman in Duncan Hall and member of Air Force ROTC, shared what it was like to be one of the flag bearers.

“It was probably the best run I’ve ever had in my whole life,” Whitelatch said. “I felt like I had wings the whole time and I didn’t slow down.”

Fellow Duncan flag bearer and freshman Matt Wich was equally optimistic about the effects of the run.

“I think we got a lot of people to sign up by doing that, and it really spread the word about the great event we were putting on,” Wich said.