9/11 is a date the world won't be quick to forget, as it marked one of the darkest terrorist attacks in the United States. Among the 2,763 lives lost in the attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center was Brooklyn firefighter Stephen Gerard Siller.
Two decades later, Stephen's brother Frank Siller is determined to keep the name of his brother and every other hero who lost their lives in the attack, engraved in the sands of time.
Man trekking on the street | Photo: Twitter / fox5ny
As part of his mission to ensure the fallen heroes would not be forgotten anytime soon, Frank is honoring his brother by embarking on a 500-mile walk in his memory.
The Staten Island, New York resident, has designated six weeks for the "Never Forget Walk," which will see him cover six states. He commenced his journey from the Arlington Fire Station 5 in D.C, setting Ground Zero as his finish point.
Speaking on his unusual tribute, the 68-year-old founder of Tunnel to Towers Foundation revealed the walk was for a private wreath-laying in honor of his younger brother. He shared: "My personal goal is to make sure people never forget."
Fully kitted fire fighter responding to an emergency | Photo: Pexels
Frank's foundation is another means he employs to uphold his late brother's memory. The non-profit focuses on building mortgage-free homes for injured veterans and first responders, as well as families who lost a loved one in the line of duty.
Others who lost a loved one in the attacks have found peculiar means of upholding the legacies of their fallen heroes.
Stephen, who was assigned to Brooklyn's Squad 1, died on September 11, 2001, following the attack on the North Tower. Hearing about the attacks, which took place concurrently in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania, the fireman, abandoned a golf game and rushed to the scene.
Photo of a man trekking while wearing a black backpack | Photo: Pexels
When the firefighter's truck could not penetrate the locked towers, he abandoned the truck, carried his life-saving gears, and ran into the tunnel to save the lives of people trapped inside. He never made it out alive. Frank divulged:
"He died the way he lived, serving others. If given the choice all over again, he would run through that tunnel and give up his life for others."
Many were happy to join the elderly man on the memorable walk to remember. Aside from Frank, several others, who lost a loved one in the attacks, have found peculiar means of upholding the legacies of their fallen heroes.
Fireman in front of a fire truck | Photo: Pexels
Last year, two brothers, Leonard Jr. and Anthony Ragaglia, honored their late dad by following in his footsteps and becoming firefighters.
In September 2020, the two graduated from the FDNY Academy and were convinced their dad, Leonard Ragaglia, who died doing what he loved, would be proud of their chosen paths.
Two firefighters responding to a fire outbreak | Photo: Pexels
About 343 firefighters lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks orchestrated by 19 terrorist hijackers, who ruthlessly weaponized four airliners to cause mass destruction. A total of 2,996 people from 78 countries died as a result.
The sacrifices of these fallen heroes, including firefighters, police officers, and emergency responders, would forever be remembered.
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