Had a reader request that I post information about the Tunnel to Towers Run in NYC on September 11th. I don't always post requests like this one, but it sure seems like something that we all might be interested in supporting:
I am not sure if you guys know about the story of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, and the 9/11 memorial run that is held in his name.
The run is named for FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller, who left behind his widow and 5 children as he responded to the terrorist attacks on September 11th. Stephen's family did not want his sacrifice--nor the loss of nearly 3000 people that day--to be forgotten, and so they have organized this memorial run and commemoration.
If you'd like to read more about the Siller Foundation and Stephen's story, which is truly amazing, you can do so here: www.tunneltotowersrun.org
Stephen was off duty on 9/11, and literally ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel with his gear and equipment on in order to reach those who needed his help. The memorial run literally follows Stephen's route, and is quite moving--as you exit the tunnel, you are saluted by 343 FDNY firefighters, each bearing a banner with a picture of one of the FDNY firefighters lost, as well as 343 flagbearers--last year they were West Point cadets.
The Siller foundation does great things with the money raised from the Run, including helping veterans who have been injured, one of whom you can read about on their website front page.
My family and I have particpated in the run for the last 7 years, and are doing so again this year. To run in this hero's footsteps and join with thousands of others to commemorate the lost of 9/11 is an incredible experience.
If you could post the link or some short story about the run on Blackfive, that would be great.
No problem, Mike. Thanks for letting us know about this great event.
Here's a poem by Stephen's brother:
It's Up to Us to Carry On
By George Siller, in Memory of my brother Stephen Siller
November 15, 1966 - September. 11, 2001
It was a perfect day, so clear and so crisp.
Innocent workers entered the buildings, not knowing the risk.
This perfect day, full of sunlight and promise,
Became another holocaust, with days full of solace.
The terrorists aimed our own planes at the Towers.
My whole world stopped, in the ensuing hours.
My youngest brother Stephen had already finished his tour.
His three older brothers waited on the golf course, to make it four.
He heard the call, raced to the site, no more thoughts of the links,
Because that's just the way a fireman thinks!
No one really knows just how he got there.
I'm sure he never gave up, amidst all the despair.
We heard from a source, he ran through the tunnel on that fateful day.
He was just thinking of others, not worried about the price he would pay.
We all watched in horror as the Towers came down.
Please Dear God, we prayed, keep my brother safe and sound.
As the days moved on we came to accept
My brother Stephen was a hero, as were all the rest.
Such a perfect day had come and gone,
Now it's up to us, to carry on.
What to say to his five children and wife?
How do I try to explain what's ahead in their life?
I'll tell them their father was a saint and hero,
Who fought courageously, the battle at Ground Zero.
Yes, Stephen like many was too young and so brave.
When you're a fireman, you fear not the grave.
And now Squad 1 from Brooklyn knows, all eleven have died:
Not a single one of those brave souls was able to survive.
When will we smile again, when will we sleep?
The Lord has taken Stephen, his Soul to keep.
Such a perfect day has come and gone, And now it's up to us, to carry on.