Every once in a while, we are given the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  Something that reaches beyond our friends, our family and our own being right into our very soul and touches us so deeply that we are forever changed. 
    I remember where I was on September 11, 2001 when my husband called to tell me about the planes hitting the Twin Towers.   I had no idea just how much that moment would shape my life or the lives of others, I just knew it was big.
    It didn't take long before Mike called back to tell me that a third plane had flown into the Pentagon.  Clearly, America was under attack and the enormity of that realization was more than I could wrap my mind around.  This was the United States of America, for heaven's sake!  Fear flooded me.  Who was doing this and why?  Who and what were the next targets? 
    I had married Mike, an army major, in the summer of 2000.  I enjoyed being the wife of a military officer and looked forward to "seeing the world" as our family would surely move from one base to the next throughout his career.  I realized that he would probably do a few tours overseas without us intermittently, but it never occurred to me that we would become a nation at war.  In an instant, that possibility became a probability and I was terrified.
    While I was cowering in fear on my way to work on that sunny September morning,  firefighter Stephen Siller  had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1, Park Slope, Brooklyn and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. 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.  Reaching the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, it was already closed to traffic .  Undeterred, Stephen Siller strapped sixty pounds of gear to his back and ran through the Tunnel, hoping  to meet up with his own company. 
    Because of the heroes who selflessly give of themselves everyday, I can no longer be paralyzed by fear. Today, I have been given the opportunity to serve as the Tunnel to Towers Pearl Harbor volunteer coordinator.  Knowing what I do now about Stephen Siller's life and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and their enormous support of first responders and the military, I am humbled and honored to be a part of the Pearl Harbor run this year.  "The sole purpose of the Foundation is to honor the legacy of love given to us by Stephen Siller, FDNY, who laid down his life on 9/11, by “doing good” in his name.   The mission is to follow Stephen’s footsteps through support of children who have lost a parent, firefighters, and military who have been seriously injured and sacrifice their quality of life in the line of duty."
    Please visit www.tunneltotowers.org for more information and together, "Let us do good."

    To volunteer, please email me at t2tpearlharbor2@gmail.com .


Leave a Reply