NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than 30,000 people on Sunday helped pay tribute to and raise money for 9/11 first responders and injured military veterans by participating Sunday in the 14th annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers race.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the runners come out every year to support a great cause and honor a hero in the attacks of 9/11.
The 5K run and walk began at the IKEA in Red Hook, went through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and wrapped up at the World Trade Center site.
The race follows in the footsteps of fallen firefighter Stephen Siller. On Sept. 11, 2001, he worked an overnight shift at Brooklyn’s Squad 1. He was on his way to meet his brothers to play golf when the news of the World Trade Center attack came across his scanner. He turned around and grabbed his gear instead of his clubs. Traffic was halted at the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, but that didn’t deter him. Undaunted, he strapped on 60 pounds of gear and ran through the tunnel and into history. He died when the south tower collapsed.
Police banners were also mixed in for the first time this year.
“Every year it keeps on growing,” said Frank Siller, Stephen Siller’s brother. “We get bigger and better partners.”
Participating in his second Tunnel to Towers race, Kevin Trimble said it was an honor to retrace Siller’s journey.
“It’s extraordinary,” he told WCBS 880′ Sean Adams. “It’s inspiring to see people still willing to put their life on the line just to do what they had to do, and it needed to be done, so he did it.”