• WATCH CBS2’s SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF STEPHEN SILLER: TUNNEL TO TOWERS FRIDAY, OCT. 5TH AT 7 P.M.
  • The foundation builds homes or pays off mortgages for families of those killed in the line of duty at home or abroad
  • Find out more about the annual Tunnel to Towers run

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For the past 17 years, hundreds of thousands of people have run in the footsteps of Stephen Siller, an American hero. His story is one of legend.

In 2001, a day of family bonding turned into a day of family tragedy. The attacks on the World Trade Center came blaring over Stephen Siller’s radio – just as he had gotten off the late shift at Squad 1 in Park Slope, Brooklyn – halting his trip to play golf with his three brothers.

Without hesitation, Siller turned his truck around and raced towards the burning towers but was stopped at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Siller wouldn’t be deterred from his duty to save lives. He strapped on 60 pounds of firefighting gear and ran through the tunnel and into history.

“That’s my brother, he was always looking to help people out,” George Siller said. “I’m sure he was thinking about his family as he was running to the towers but his duty overcame everything.”

“When the towers went down I turned to my mother-in-law and said I just lost my brother,” Frank Siller recalled.

1004siller Tunnel To Towers: The Stephen Siller Story

Firefighter Stephen Siller (Credit: CBS2)

Stephen Siller and 342 of his firefighting brethren perished on that fateful day; along with close to 3,000 other Americans in and around the Twin Towers. He unselfishly paid the ultimate sacrifice with one thought in mind – to save as many people as he could.

The Siller family formed the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and has raised millions of dollars in their brother’s name. The funds have been used to help thousands of first responders and military families, who make extraordinary sacrifices in the line of duty every day.