September 23rd, 2016
3 Inspiring Stories of What It Means to Participate in the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk
By Kera Bolonik
On the morning of September 11, 2001, firefighter Stephen Siller had just finished his shift and was on his way to play golf when he got word that a plane had hit the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan. The 34-year-old father of five called his wife to say he was heading back to the firehouse in Brooklyn.
So he grabbed his gear and headed toward the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel—only to find that it had already been closed off. Undeterred, Siller ran through the tunnel, with 60 pounds of gear strapped to his back, to get to the scene of the terrorist attack, where he died saving other people’s lives.
For the past 14 years, the Siller family has paid tribute to his heroic act with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation 5K Run & Walk, which retraces Stephen’s path that day.
“When we started the foundation, we wanted to honor the sacrifice our little brother made, and what better way to do that than with this big annual event,” says CEO Frank Siller, who created the foundation with his six siblings. “We’re very proud of it because the 5K brings together 9/11 family members with first-responders and military veterans—all the greatness of America.”
In addition to bringing hundreds of people together to commemorate that fateful day, the event also helps raise funds for such programs as the foundation’s Building for America’s Bravest, an initiative to construct custom “smart homes” for severely injured U.S.