ISS1 2017

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 55

CG Personnel Run 'Tunnel to Tower' To Honor Fallen Hero The crisp fall air and the echoing song from the bagpipes welcomed over 25,000 runners as they exited the dark, muggy tunnel in the final mile of the Stephen Siller Foundation 15th Annual Tunnel to Towers 5K in New York City on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. Among the participants were several Coast Guard members from the surrounding Tri-state area. The Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk Series was created to retrace the final steps of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who lost his life on Sept. 11, 2001. The run and walk event pays homage to all first responders who made, and continue to make, extraordinary sacrifices in the line of duty. "Running through the tunnel made me feel great, it made me realize the sacrifice that Stephen Siller had done," said Coast Guard Academy 3rd Class Cadet Christopher Nadeau. "It is really hard to capture what he did, wearing his full turn-out gear, and us in gym gear. In a small way, I can imagine what he might have gone through to get to the towers." On Sept. 11, 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 of the first plane hitting Tower One over his scanner. Upon hearing the news, Siller called his wife Sally and asked her to inform his brothers he would catch up with them later. He then returned to the fire station to get his gear. Stephen drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, but he found it closed due to security concerns. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60-pounds of gear to his back and raced on foot through the tunnel to the site of the World Trade Center where he paid the ultimate sacrifice while saving others. "Everyone said that coming out of the tunnel was going to be the most awe-inspiring part, and it really was the most incredible sight to see the firefighters and service members holding the banners and cheering us on as we ran through the race," said Lt. j.g. Rachel Laplante, an officer from Coast Guard Sector New York Prevention Department. "It was very inspirational." The Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk is approximately three-and-a-half miles long, slightly longer than a standard five-kilometer course. It begins at the Brooklyn entrance to the tunnel, officially known as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, continues into the streets of Manhattan, and finishes just steps from the 9/11 Memorial. Throughout the entire race, the path is lined with uniformed police officers and firefighters holding banners with photographs of their fallen brothers. The goal of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is to continue Stephen's legacy by supporting our nation's first responders and service members. Building for America's Bravest, a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, constructs specially adapted smart homes for our most seriously injured service members. Both active and retired members of the Fire Department of New York City support the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation in efforts to help America's military heroes regain their independence. The firefighter community gives back to injured heroes through fundraising events and mentorship initiatives. "It felt amazing to run this race and it made me realize how much patriotism there is in America today," said Coast Guard Academy 3rd Class Colin Johnson. "It made me proud to serve my country." — Story and photos by PA1 Sara Romero, PADET NY Coast Guard Sector New York service members participate in the Stephen Siller Foundation Tunnel to Tower 5K run in downtown New York City. Coast Guardsmen from Sector New York, Station Fire Island, Station Eaton's Neck, and the Coast Guard Academy, were just a few of the units that participated. Sector New York service members stand together near the finish line after completing the Stephen Siller Foundation Tunnel to Tower 5K run in downtown New York City. Issue 1 • 2017 � RESERVIST 17

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Reservist - ISS1 2017