06/13/11 785 W - + 5 - 5 Tunnels to Towers 5K Race in Wake Forest - Request For Participation

The Wake Forest Fire Department is requesting participation in this year's Tunnel to Towers 5K race, an event to honors firefighters on the tenth anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. Below is a message from Lt. David Collins about the event and how your fire department can participate:

To: All North Carolina Fire Departments

Re:  The Tunnel to Towers 5K race:  The run to honor us as firefighters in honor of the 10th anniversary  of 9-11-

The Tunnel to Towers Story: The Tunnel to Towers is a 3.1 mile run to honor the legacy of Stephen Siller, FDNY, who laid down his life on 9/11, by “doing good” in his name. The mission of the run is to follow Stephen’s footsteps.

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’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.

For the past two years, Wake Forest has hosted our own Tunnel to Towers 5K race to honor Stephen and follow in his footsteps.

In honor of the 10th anniversary this year of 9/11, we would like as many firefighters from as many local fire departments to join us this year, as well as help with the request below.

Can you please help? In honor of Stephen and all of the 343 firefighters that we lost that horrible day, we would like to make this year’s run special. I am asking for at least one pair of fire boots (can be worn and used) to be donated from each fire department in honor of the 343 men who gave the ultimate sacrifice. If you can donate more, it is greatly appreciated.

For each pair of boots that we receive, we are planning to line the 5K course with them and an American flag standing in the boots to represent each firefighter. In addition to the American flag, each pair of boots will be labeled with the fire department’s name on it stating, “This pair of boots was donated by XXXXX Fire Department in honor of the 343 firefighters that paid the ultimate sacrifice on 9-11-01.”

Each fire department will also receive a photo to display in your station. Following the race, we are partnering with ”The Engines for Hope Foundation” and donating the fire boots to fire departments outside of the United States that are less fortunate than us and can use the boots. The Engines of Hope Foundation was started to provide fire and rescue apparatus and equipment to rural communities, both foreign and domestic, at an affordable price, allowing them to provide services for their citizens. (http://enginesofhope.org)

The boots can be shipped to the address below:

Wake Forest Fire Department
Attn: Lt. David Collins
420 East Elm Street
Wake Forest, NC 27587

I also invite any firefighter to join us on Saturday, September 10, 2011 in Wake Forest, NC. Please note that the firefighters do run (at a slow pace) in our gear (turnout pants, turnout coat, helmet and gloves) to follow in the steps of Stephen as he made the run from the Tunnel to Towers in his gear. These are just a few small ways that we, as brothers and sisters, can pay tribute to our brothers that we unfortunately lost on that tragic day.

I look forward to receiving a pair of boots from each local department to line the course in honor of one of the 343, as well as seeing you all out there with us in Wake Forest on September 10.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at all or need further information.

I appreciate your help.

Thank you,
Lt. David Collins
Wake Forest Fire Department
Station 1, Ladder 1
Work: 919-556-1966
Cell: 919-426-8085

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