By Rose Minutaglio
September 11, 2018
Courtesy Lezlie Bauler

Editor’s note: The story below originally ran on Sept. 11, 2016 on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

A Tennessee firefighter captured the hearts of thousands when he showed up to a gym on September 11 dressed in full firefighting gear.

Maryville Planet Fitness employee Lezlie Bauler says the official, Jason Harding, asked her if he could climb 110 sets of stairs to honor those who died on 9/11.

She immediately said yes.

Bauler took a photo of Harding completing the task and posted it Facebook on Sunday with the caption: “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.”

WATCH: 9/11 Volunteer Meets The Kid Whose Words Inspired Him

The post has been shared over 147,000 times.

“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. I was not and am still not looking for any self-recognition,” Harding said in a statement.

“I have received so many private messages via Facebook from people expressing that support, gratitude and blessings,” he continued. “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.

“As a Public Safety Officer and McGhee Tyson airport officer, I am honored to be a Firefighter, a Police Officer and a Paramedic. I have been in emergency services for most of my career after college and wouldn’t change that for anything.”

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