TAMPA, Fla. – Stephen Siller was off the clock and heading to play golf with his three brothers on Sept. 11, 2001.
Then, over his scanner, he heard the news about the World Trade Center. He called his wife Sally and asked her to let his brothers know he would have to catch up with them later.
The New York firefighter threw on his gear and raced through a tunnel to the Twin Towers. He would die there while risking his life to save others.
Now, an organization built in his honor is making an impact locally. Saturday, Bay Area fire fighters along with dozens of others, joined Sally Siller for the 1st Tunnel to Towers Climb in Tampa.
“It’s such an honor to be here, really. Tampa has been so welcoming, we’re so grateful,” Siller said.
She led the group up 41 floors and 861 steps to the top of the One Tampa City Center building.
“The mission of our Foundation is to honor the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001,” a description of Tunnels to Towers posted on its website.
“We also honor our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country.”
The event organizer says proceeds from the climb will go to help building smart homes for seriously injured service members. It’s one of the Foundation’s programs, Building for America’s Bravest.