Last Sunday, first responders from Georgetown Fire and West Redding EMS and their family members took part in the 14th annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run in New York City.
More than 30,000 runners — many first responders themselves — began in Brooklyn, continued through the Battery tunnel, traveled through lower Manhattan and finished at the September 11 Memorial. Most were in T-shirts and shorts while others pushed themselves in full fire gear or other first responder and military uniforms.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created to honor Stephen Siller and the 343 first responders who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
Siller, a firefighter at Squad 1 in Brooklyn, arrived to the department after his engine company had already left for the towers. He ran from Brooklyn to Ground Zero, before dying while attempting to rescue people after the collapse of the Twin Towers. The race began at Siller’s fire station and retraced his momentous steps that day.
Spectators cheered, bands played and the runners worked to complete Siller’s journey. As runners exited the tunnel, the streets were lined with New York City firefighters holding pictures of those first responders who had lost their lives.
“We were proud to be a part of an event that remembers the sacrifices of those that came before us and to support our first responders, veterans and their families,” said Frank Rizzo, 1st lieutenant at Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department and organizer of the Redding team.
The event helped to raise more than $50 million for various programs and causes. Redding members raised over $6,400 for the foundation.