Inaugural Tunnel to Towers London 5K Inspired by American Hero’s Story
London becomes one of nearly 60 cities to host event honoring fallen firefighters, first responders and those who perished in American tragedy
For the first time ever, London will be the site of the Tunnel to Towers London 5K on Sunday, October 21. The run was established by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor the brave men and women who lost their lives in the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11. Started in New York City in 2002, the Tunnel to Towers Run has expanded to nearly 60 cities throughout the United States and now London, Afghanistan, Germany, and Iraq. Money raised from the London event will go toward supporting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, London’s The Firefighters Charity and the London Fire Brigade Welfare Fund.
Since 2002, the New York City Tunnel to Towers Run has been held annually to honor the 343 firefighters and first responders who lost their lives on 9/11 and retraces the final footsteps of firefighter Stephen Siller, husband and father of five who ran on foot with 60 pounds of gear from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center site. Stephen was last seen with his brothers from Squad 1. The Tunnel to Towers Run is a living, breathing memorial to all our fallen heroes, and inspire us all to serve those that served. This year, more than 30,000 global citizens took part in the New York event. Among these 30,000 was a large contingent of London firefighters, who have traveled across the Atlantic for the last 10 years to attend this special event in support of the firefighter “brothers” they lost on 9/11. Their attendance provoked a motivating sense from the London firefighters to “follow the footsteps” of Stephen Siller, 343 firefighters and first responders who were lost that day and bring the Tunnel to Towers Run to London. The New York City Tunnel to Towers Run has become a springboard and the event’s popularity has launched similar events and runs around the world, honoring our service heroes.
“This run began as a way to honor Stephen and his firefighter brothers,” said Frank Siller, one of Stephen’s siblings and the Chairman of the Foundation. “Over the years, through an influx of volunteers, donations and interest, it has continued to grow and evolve and we are so happy to have the support of London. We are grateful to have the opportunity to have support across the globe.”
The Tunnel to Towers London Run will start at 10 a.m. sharp at Southwand Park, and will go through Bermondsey and the Rotherhithe Tunnel, finishing at Billingsgate Market. Afterwards, a street party will be held in Billingsgate Market in the shadows of the Canary Wharf Towers in London’s Docklands. Wheelchair and assisted runners start at 9:30 a.m.
A limited number of spaces remain. For a list of entry fees, please see below and to register please visit: http://regonline.activeeurope.com/builder/site/?eventid=1073389
— Adult Entry : 20.12 pounds
— Adult with UK A Number : 18.12 pounds
— U18 With Chip: 16.00 pounds
— U12 With No Chip: 12.00 pounds
— Family Entry: 55.00 pounds
For more information on the Tunnel to Towers Run London 5K, please visit www.tunnel2towersrun.co.uk.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has established programs for firefighters, first responders, and military as well as for children who have lost one or both parents, in Stephen’s memory. Since the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation inception in 2001, fundraising activities have raised more than $16.3 million for military causes, burn victims, orphans, the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund, Hope for the Warriors, Katrina Children’s Relief Fund, “Building for America’s Bravest” and other causes.
For more information on the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, please visit www.Tunnel2Towers.org
Interact with the Foundation at Facebook.com/TunnelToTowersFoundation or on Twitter @Tunnel2Towers.
About Stephen Siller
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Stephen was off-duty, having just finished an overnight shift, and was headed back to Staten Island to go home to his wife and five children and then to meet his older brothers for a round of golf. After that, it was anyone’s guess how Stephen would spend his day: there would definitely be playtime with his five children, time spent with his wife, work done around the house – perhaps he’d invite some of his neighbors over for a barbecue – all of which were typical activities for Stephen.
Instead, he picked up the news on his scanner about the attack on the World Trade Center. He immediately returned to his firehouse, retrieved his gear, and headed towards the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. When he found that traffic was blocked to enter the tunnel, he strapped his heavy gear to his back, and sprinted along the catwalk towards Manhattan. At the end of the tunnel, Stephen was picked up by a fire crew, and transported to West Street and Liberty, near Ground Zero. His family believes that he attempted to meet up with Squad Co. 1 and raced into the Towers to do what he did best: save lives and comfort survivors. Neither Stephen nor any of his Squad Co.1 mates survived.
Stephen still lives in the hearts of the Siller family, and in all the lives he touched. His is a legacy of bravery, compassion, and good will that the Siller family wants to see live on. “We kept asking ourselves how we could properly memorialize him,” said Russell, Stephen’s oldest brother. “We thought about a special dinner or a golf outing,” continued Russell. “Then a friend of Stephen’s suggested we hold a run through the Battery Tunnel in his honor, and in memory of all those heroes who displayed such bravery on September 11. Because this idea was a reflection of Stephen’s spirit, we knew right away that it was perfect. All the pieces began to fall into place, and we realized what could be a more fitting than a run following his footsteps through the tunnel, the very spot where Stephen embarked on his heroic journey.”
The Siller family, including Stephen’s wife, Sally, her children, his six siblings and numerous relatives, close friends, and volunteers have dedicated their hearts and souls to the run. “We’ve been moved by the kindness of friends and by those who have chosen to become part of his story,” said Russell. “So many people are helping us along the way, offering us untold amounts of emotional and financial support as we prepare for our tenth annual run.” Visitwww.Tunnel2Towers.org for more information.
SOURCE Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation