Six weeks after embarking on the grueling journey from Washington to Shanksville, Pennsylvania to Lower Manhattan — all on foot — Frank Siller reached his destination Saturday, the 20th anniversary of his brother’s death.
Siller, 68, walked with service members from across the country to honor those who died on 9/11 and in the days, months and years that followed.
“We have to always make sure the first thing we do is never forget the sacrifice made 20 years ago,” Siller said. “I’ll be following my brother’s footsteps, walking through the [Hugh Carey] Battery Tunnel, coming through it as the sun is rising on the other side.”
The 42-day long “Never Forget Walk” began on Aug. 1 in Washington, D.C., followed by a somber wreath laying at the Pentagon with Siller’s family.
The solemn journey winding around the Blue Hills of Virginia through the farms of Pennsylvania and to the hallowed crash site of Flight 93. He arrived in Lower Manhattan Saturday — which marked 20 years since Sept. 11, 2001.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers foundation was born in memory of his brother.
Stephen Siller heroically ran through the battery tunnel after his firefighting shift on Sept. 11, 2001, with 60 pounds of gear on his back. He selflessly joined his squad, saving lives in the South Tower. The young father of five was never seen again.
Tunnel to Towers has given light and life to families in darkness. Roughly $250 million has been raised and has provided housing for 450 families of fallen first responders and wounded military members.
The foundation carries out Stephen Siller’s legacy through how he lived his life.
“Our last words were ‘I’ll see you tomorrow,’” Frank Siller recalled. “You don’t know what tomorrow brings and [Stephen Siller] knew that every day was precious and lived every day full.”