More Than a 5K

Owen Gaskill, Staff Writer

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I hear the sound of a thousand of footsteps reverberating around the tunnel. Sweat drips from my face. My legs burn from the rapid incline.  

I find myself in lower Manhattan looking up to One World Trade Center standing proudly amongst the buildings. I look to my left then my right, and a sea of people surround me. A profound sense of unity seems palpable amongst the runners, each feeling akin to Stephen Siller.  

On September 11th, 2001, just after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, thousands ran away from the carnage but not Stephen Siller. He suited up in full equipment to join his brothers on the front. However, since all roads were closed to cars, Stephen Siller persevered by running the distance to the tower with over 60 pounds of equipment. The route stretched 5 kilometers. Despite being off-duty, Siller arrived to save lives, and wound up giving his own. Each year the Tunnel to Tower 5K parallels his route to honor his heroism. 

Being a part of the Tunnel to Tower 5K this year was truly an honor. I felt humbled to run next to the heroes that braved 9/11. I felt inspired to see the majesty of One World Trade Center rise from the ashes. But the thing I love most about the run is it not only is a reminder and memorial for Stephen Siller, but it is a symbol of national unity. Through the pain of the race, you run on.  Through the terror of 9/11, you run on. Just like how Stephen Siller, New York City, and the Nation ran through 9/11. 

 

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