Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- It's a run and walk to remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11.
"I'm here to support a good cause and remembering 9/11," said runner Ken Caruana.
"I am here to support Stephen Siller and run a 5K," said Jennifer Bakowski.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk began back in 2002. Siller, a New York firefighter, was last seen on Sept. 11 running toward the burning Twin Towers after two planes crashed into the sides of buildings.
He had just left Manhattan and could not drive back in, so he took his fight to save lives to the pavement. His brother looks back on that day. "On that day, 11 years ago, he was a firefighter who was faced with a decision," said Frank Siller. "He could have gone home and played golf but instead strapped 65 pounds of gear on his back and ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and up to the Twin Towers where he gave up his own life while saving others."
Similar runs are held across the country to honor Siller and all the fallen heroes who died on that dark day in September on 2011. "It's very emotional," said Siller, "and it's a way to make sure that we never forget the sacrifice and the loss of life on that day."
The run has grown so large in recent years it has become a tribute to everyone who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. "I work for the Broward Sheriff's Office and respect not only the first responders who lost their lives but also the civilians," said Bakowski.
For the 2000 runners who turned out to run, walk and show support, they are confident this effort to remember and raise money will continue for years to come. "It's beautiful," said Carson Bench. "Everyone is here to support this thing one way or another, and to see the firefighters, it's really awesome."
"The numbers are still being worked out this year, but last year, the Fort Lauderdale version of the Tunnel to Towers run helped raise $75,000 that will go toward the Special Operation Warrior Foundation," said Bench.
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