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It was a day filled with heavy emotions as our field heroes and proud Americans came together for the annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk.

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“To bring more than 35,000 people together to honor not only my brother Stephen but all those who died 20 years ago,” said Frank Siler, CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

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Siller started the non-profit Stephen Siller Tunnel for the Towers Foundation in honor of his late brother, Stephen. The 34-year-old died on 9/11 after walking through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel with 60 pounds of gear strapped to his back so he could reach the burning towers.

Every year, thousands of people return to walk or walk the same path through the tunnel, now the Hugh L. Cary Tunnel.

NYPD Sub Inspector Carolyn Roe said, “It’s just a day where we can come together and honor everyone who made the ultimate sacrifice 20 years ago and it’s so emotional because we’re walking the same steps.” are what we went on 20 years ago.” .

This year, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the participants felt an extra heaviness in their hearts as they crossed the threshold. They all want to give back for different reasons.

“I was wounded in Baghdad in 2007, I was a sergeant in the US military and I was hit by a roadside bomb. We are going to raise awareness for every other wounded warrior who is injured and we are able to care. It’s going to happen to their families when they have their worst day, that’s all,” one participant told Granthshala 5.