Posted: 30th September 2013 by in Journal

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To describe the race…First I think everyone needs to understand the mission behind the race.


By the time Stephen Siller was 10 years old, he had already lost both parents. Although he went through a period of struggle, because of the love of his siblings and the values instilled in him by his parents, he grew up to be an extraordinary individual. More than most, he knew that time was precious and accomplished much in his 34 years. On September 11th, firefighter Stephen Siller had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1, Park Slope, Brooklyn. He was on his way to play golf with his brothers on that bright clear day when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. When he heard the news, he called his wife Sally to tell her he would be late because he had to help those in need. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear, then took his final heroic steps to the World Trade Center. When Stephen drove his truck to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, it was already closed to traffic. With sixty pounds of gear strapped to his back, he ran through the Tunnel, hoping to meet up with his own company, Squad 1.

Stephen was first and foremost a loving husband and father to five children. He was also a dedicated fireman, devoted brother, loyal friend and committed neighbor. His life brought great light to those around him.

Stephen’s brother Russell wrote these words for Stephen’s Memorial which best expresses the effect of his life on all who knew him. “Like the comet Halle-Bopp that streaked across the sky a few years ago, Stephen’s light startled us all. When we thought it could not get any brighter, it got brighter still. Just when we were enjoying it so much, for it was so unexpected, so breathtaking, it shot across the sky and went well beyond us all, deeper into the mind of God.”

Stephen’s life and his heroic death serve as reminder to us all to live life to the fullest and to spend our time hear on earth doing good – this is his legacy. Family friend, Jay Price, shared thoughts on Stephen’s lasting legacy when he wrote, “Every momentous event, even a tragedy, has its symbolic figures. September 11th was no different; it just had a few more of them. Rudy Giuliani, Father Mychal Judge, the four guys on United Flight 93…a hundred more…a thousand. None bigger than Stephen Siller, whose stature only grows with time as New Yorkers and people from around the world follow his footsteps.”

• Never Forget Program:

The Tunnel To Towers Run, a living, breathing Memorial Tribute to the memory of the heroic life and death of Stephen Siller, FDNY, all the 343 firefighters, and all first responders who sacrificed their lives that fateful day, and all those who perished on 9/11. The Foundation has established National Tunnel To Towers Runs across the country, so that We Will Never Forget. These runs are a memorial tribute to those firefighters who laid down their lives on 9/11. Funds raised through the runs support our programs, for firefighters in particular, we support the great work of the NYC Firefighter Burn Center Foundation and burn centers throughout America.

• Building for America’s Bravest

The Foundation recognizes that the torch held by Stephen and his fellow fallen brothers on 9/11 has been passed on to those who serve in the Armed Services. Building for America’s Bravest is a program that constructs Smart Homes for military returning home with devastating injuries. Smart Homes are custom designed, on a case-by-case basis, specially adapted to address the individual needs of our most severely injured U.S. military personnel. Building for America’s Bravest helps to restore their ability to live a life of independence and is our way to show our profound gratitude for all they have sacrificed.

There is a little history behind the race and mission for the future of the race. Beyond that I don’t know if I can put into words how remarkable this event is…everything from the crowds cheering on the participants to the swarms of military participants to the pictures of the fallen on 9/11 …take a look for yourself.


This is Taylor’s second time walking the Tunnel to Towers 5k and second race since being injured.  When comparing last year’s 5k with his performance this year, its amazing how far we have come (and how often we forget to look back on everything we have accomplished, we’ve been so focused on the future and moving forward.)

Taylor did great last year.  He was only 5 months post injury. He was able to walk the entire race without stopping or resting. And he did it without any complaints.  So how could this year be such an astonishing improvement?
Although he finished last year without complaining or taking a break, it was accomplished through pure determination.  He wasn’t easy and it left him sore and tired for the rest of the day and into the following day.
This year, it seemed to be a breeze.  He walked at a much quicker pace! And it seemed to race he could complete with ease.   I didn’t feel the need to ask repeatedly how he was feeling or if we wanted to stop, like I did last year.
I’m so proud of all the handwork he has put in this last year and more than happy to see it pay off time and time again.

Race two is in the books as a success. I reminded Taylor again of the promise he made to me when he first got to the hospital: to train and run a marathon with me. He likes to joke that it doesn’t count because he was under the influence of powerful drugs when we had this conversation. He tells me that he didn’t like to run before he was hurt so why would it take him loosing is legs to start wanting to run.  haha I guess that is one way to look at it!



We always have a ton of fun in New York.

We saw the show Wicked! I’m a fan of broadway!IMG_8852

Dinner Cruise



Dinner with my handsome other half on the BayIMG_8875

Walking through the Battery Tunnel


We met Steve Buscemi after the Tunnel to Towers 5k IMG_8881



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