“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” –unknown
9/11 is a day where we reflect back on the day that changed our lives forever. We think about the people who are no longer with us and of all the people who risked their lives (and continue to do so every day) and who fought to save the lives of people they have never met. One of my good friends lost both her father and uncle on 9/11. Every year, her family participates in the Tunnel to Towers run and this is the first year that I went. It is a 5K that honors 9/11 First Responders in honor of Stephen Siller.
Stephen Siller had gotten off the late shift and was on his way home from work. After he heard the news, he turned around and got his gear. By the time he got to Battery Tunnel, it had been closed. He strapped on all 60 pounds of his gear and ran through the traffic in the Tunnel all the way to the World Trade Center. He risked his life to save others, the ultimate sacrifice.
This year they had a record high of over 30,000 people participating in the run. You run the route that Stephen Siller took. It was such a beautiful event to be a part of. As you come out of the Tunnel, the streets are lined with Service men and women, the FDNY, and NYPD. They are cheering you on and high fiving you as you run by. They are thanking you for running. I was astonished. They are thanking me… for running. No, thank you. Thank you for risking your lives every day to protect ours. Thank you for leaving your families and for keeping ours safe. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Words cannot describe how special this day was and how honored I felt being in the presence of such amazing people.
If you would like to donate or participate in a run, please visit http://tunnel2towers.org/.