Mobile will be one of several cities across the nation to host a "Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run" to mark the tenth anniversary of September 11. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run began in New York City following the 9/11 attacks as a way to memorialize New York firefighter Stephen Siller and the other 342 firefighters who died trying to save others on Sept. 11, 2001.
Though he had just gotten off work and was ready to golf, Siller ran from the Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers in full firefighter gear. The New York run has grown to include over 25,000 participants from around the world.
This year, the Stephen Siller Foundation, USA Cares, the Blue Star Mothers of America, and cities across the country, like Mobile, are making the run a national event.
Each year since Hurricane Katrina, the New York City firefighters continue to return to the Gulf Coast, driving trucks loaded with supplies for the Gulf Coast region. Ed Murphy, general manager of the Hampton Inn, Tillman's Corner discovered the firefighter's living arrangements while helping on the Gulf Coast and offered discounted lodging as the manager of a Hampton Inn in Daphne.
Last year, the FDNY delivered eight Penske trucks filled with toys, books, cookies, juice, water and food to five locations along the Gulf – providing toys to over 12,000 children. The firefighters have made eight trips since Hurricane Katrina, and have given toys to an estimated 50,000 children in need throughout Alabama and Mississippi.
While the firefighters pay some of their own expenses, their effort to provide Gulf Coast aid is also supported by the Stephen Siller Foundation, through the firefighters' Gulf Coast Children's Foundation. Fittingly, the Stephen Siller Foundation's motto is "Let Us Do Good."
The Mobile Tunnel to Tower run will be held on Sunday, Sept. 11 beginning at 7:30 a.m. It will begin at the Battleship Alabama Memorial Park and proceed through the Bankhead Tunnel, ending somewhere near the RSA Tower, which is the tallest building in Alabama.
Murphy said he hopes to invite bicycle and motorcycle clubs to participate, and hopes to include a one-mile fun run/walk through the tunnel as well. Preliminary plans also call for a sunrise service at the Memorial Park prior to the Tunnel to Tower run, and a Coast Guard flyover.
Those interested in volunteering to help with the event can contact race director, Margaret Olive, at (251) 401-8039. Online registration is available at www.active.com .
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