30 Stories for 30 Years: Chapter 24– Tunnel to Towers 5K

PPAGer Lorna O’Hara recently attended The Stephen Siller Foundation Tunnel to Towers Run, which is held each year, on the last Sunday of September. Lorna and her extended family support the Foundation to honor the fallen and especially one of Stephen Siller’s brothers in battle, their cousin Brian Bilcher, who was also assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1 and lost his life in the Towers on September 11th. At the time of his death, Brian was the father of a two-week-old newborn son named Grant.

What began with 1,500 people in 2002 is now considered by many to be one of the top 5K runs in America. The event symbolizes Stephen Siller’s final footsteps from the foot of the Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers and pays homage to the 343 FDNY firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers, and thousands of civilians who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

Siller got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60 pounds of gear to his back and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life while saving others.

Proceeds from the event support the Foundation’s programs, including those benefitting first responders, and catastrophically injured service members.  To donate, click here.