By Stephanie Wilks
August 30, 2012
September 11th, 2001 –
Most of us remember exactly where we were, and what we were doing, the tragic morning that changed our history books more than a decade ago. It’s a day we will never forget.
For some, it was a day of personal loss; the date that marked the end of the life of a dear family member or friend. For others, it marked the day that inspired them to serve in the military to protect our freedoms. For the rest, it’s left us wondering how can we best remember that day with a sense of honor amidst the tragedy?
Randy Payne, Director of Cincinnati’s first ever Tunnel to Towers 5K Race, has an answer for you. For $25 you can join dozens of fellow Americans on a beautiful run through Spring Grove Arboretum on September 9th to commemorate the victims and heroes of 9/11 as well as to support our wounded veterans.
If you cannot commit to the race, donations are more than appreciated. All proceeds from the event will directly contribute to building a custom handicap-accessible home for local wounded warrior PFC Kyle Hockenberry, a triple amputee injured in Afghanistan. The money raised will also contribute to The Tri-State 9/11 Memorial and The Cincinnati Fire Museum.
The Tunnel to Towers Organization began in NYC in honor of Stephen Siller, a Brooklyn-based firefighter who was off-duty when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. He ran on foot with 60 lbs of equipment strapped to his back through the Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center to help those in need. Siller ultimately perished that day, but he lives on in the memories of those who knew him and through each Tunnel to Towers race across the United States commemorating his final run.
To date The T2T Foundation has raised over $10 million nationwide to help children who lost one or more parents in the tragedy and now, in partnership with The Gary Sinise Foundation, proceeds also benefit service veterans who have suffered catastrophic injuries in combat.
Brendan Morrocco (left) from NY and Todd Nicely (right) from Missouri are two young men who have received homes thanks to money from the foundation. George Siller on the left and Frank Siller on the right. This was at last year’s post run celebration.
In Cincinnati, Payne is working with 45 other volunteers to set up the path at Spring Grove to mirror the race in NYC that retraces Siller’s final steps. There will be steel from The World Trade Center on the premises as well as fire trucks.
Amongst those participating in the race are Stephen Siller’s brother, George, and FDNY representative John Nielsen. They are both flying in from New York. Kyle Hockenberry’s father and relatives will also be running along with fellow Cincinnatian Kathie Anderson.
Anderson’s story is particularly personal and touches close to home. She is running the race in memory of her son, Michael Edward Gould, a 29-year-old securities trader who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of World Trade Center 1. In the years following Michael’s death, Anderson admits she became overwhelmed with fear and desperate for answers.
After the run, bag pipers lead 343 fireman and banners into the after run celebration. They have a banner for all 343 fireman that were lost that day and everyone that runs goes by them coming out of the tunnel.
By devoting her life to helping others, Anderson finally found peace. She created the Michael Edward Gould Foundation and is an instrumental advocate of the NPO “Home Sweet New Home” in Montgomery. Participating in The T2T 5K was an easy choice for Anderson because supporting the lives of wounded veterans like Hockenberry is one of best ways she can commemorate the life of her son.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation hopes to raise $100,000 in Cincinnati on September 9th. Help the foundation reach its goal and remember the lives lost by participating in the 5k or donating to the cause.
For more information on the race and to make a donation, please visit the website: http://t2trun.org/site/displaySite.do?siteIdCode=FQDSJ0WA.to top ↑