September 11, 2001. A day that will live in infamy around the world. A day that a countless number of first responders made the ultimate sacrifice. Stephen Siller was one of those men.
Siller, who was assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Upon hearing the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later.
Stephen, like so many others that day, never made it home.
For first responders like Christian Cordts, the memory of 9/11 and Siller’s story is still all too real.
Cordts, a volunteer at the Spencerport Fire Department, said, “It struck home and it definitely moved me in ways I couldn’t explain. I ran out that day and donated blood and just felt that commitment to country all of a sudden.”
Cordts was joined Sunday at Durand Eastman Beach in Rochester by first responders as they suited up in honor of fallen first responders like Siller at The Tunnel to Tower 5K Run.
“The fire department is a brotherhood for sure, it doesn’t matter what department you are with or who you know,” Cordts said. “No matter where you are across the country, across the world, you feel like you are a part of it.”
More than 3.2 million in funds have already been pledged to families of first responders thanks to Siller’s organization.
The proceeds from the event go to Siller’s foundation and the Smart Home Program, a program that builds custom homes for injured service members.
For more information, go to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s website.