October 16, 2017 -- Michael Topliff and his son, Hayden, employees of Leonardo DRS Land Systems in West Plains, Mo., were time travelers in spirit recently when they participated in an event commemorating the 343 firefighters who died Sept. 11, 2001, in the attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
The occasion in Branson, Mo., consisted of a climb up 110 flights of stairs, signifying the number of floors of the Twin Towers. The 2,200 steps required participants to scale the Echo Hollow Amphitheater six times.
Each participant wore a badge with the name of a fallen firefighter. On completion of the equivalent of 78 flights, the most the 9/11 firefighters were able to ascend, a bell tolled and the names were read.
Michael is a senior network administrator in corporate Information Technology and a West Plains city councilman. Hayden is an assembler on the Hitachi Railcar program, in which Leonardo DRS is building 136 new cars to replace the rolling stock of the Metrorail transportation system in Miami. He is also a West Plains firefighter.