SAVANNAH, Ga. – Saturday morning old and young gathered at Orleans Square for the fifth annual “Tunnel to Towers” 5K walk and run.
Nearly 1,500 participants made up of first responders, active servicemen and women, and families from all the country gathered to pay respects and race for those killed on September 11, 2001, especially Stephen Siller.
Siller was a part of the NYFD and gave up going golfing with his brothers to head back into the city to help out after he heard there had been a attack. He tried to drive his truck through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel but was unable. Siller got out and loaded 60 pounds of equipment on his back and ran through the tunnel to help save countless lives at the World Trade Center.
He never made it home.
Now around the country, including in Savannah, “Tunnel to Towers” races occur to raise support and awareness for disabled and injured first responders and veterans. More than 90% of the money raised goes towards building new homes for disabled first responders and veterans.
Many of the servicemen and women ran with gear on their backs, just like Siller did 15 years ago. One of those is Bryan County Fire and Rescue member Steven Nesmith.
“For firefighters and first responders to come out and be able to do all this. It’s important to us. I mean, I was in kindergarten when this happened. So, for me, to have the opportunity to come out and retrace the steps. All the first responders and Stephen. It’s really important to us,” Nesmith said. “It gives us an insight to what they were feeling you know walking up to the towers.”
Savannah looks to host “Tunnel to Towers” again in 2017.