To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Frank Siller began a 500-mile walk on Sunday from Washington D.C. to New York, WIBW reported.
Siller started his walk by laying a wreath near where American Airlines flight 77 hit the Pentagon on 9/11, killing 184 people.
In what’s being called the Never Forget Walk. Siller seeks to remember the lives lost that day, including his brother, Stephen, a firefighter who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others.
“It’s very emotional,’ Siller said as he started his journey. “I think about my brother, of course. I think about the innocent lives that were lost here at the Pentagon.”
The route was planned to take him to all three locations of the attack, including Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where passengers onboard United Airlines Flight 93, aware of the intent of the hijackers, revolted against them and fought for control of the plane, causing it to crash.
The final stretch of the six-week walk will bring him into Manhattan on September 11 and through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, where his brother ran on foot with 60 pounds of gear on his back en-route to the World Trade Center, according to the Washington Examiner.
Silller is chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, an organization that works to pay off the mortgages or provide homes to the families of fallen first responders, WIBW reported.
“There were so many acts of heroism that day that have to be told,” Siller said. “Some have been told…and some have not yet been told. And I think that it’s important that the parents who are listening to this today — that you speak to your children and tell them about the story of 9/11.”
Others are joining Siller on at least part of the walk.
Volunteer firefighter Duane Prather, who is walking the first 12 miles with Siller while carrying an oxygen tank on his back, said that “the extra weight kind of gives you a reminder of the extra burden and the weight that everybody carried that day. The families that lost that will never be able to have that back.”
Siller told the Examiner that the walk is also the next step in the Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s objective of bringing on a million donors to commit $11 per month for its charitable programs.
“We do good by taking care of these great families that are left behind after our men and women in uniform die for our country or our communities," Siller said. "We want to take care of them."
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