Tunnel to Towers: A Brother’s 537-Mile Walk To Never Forget

August 2, 2021Joshua Skovlund
Tunnel to Towers Never Forget Walk

Frank Siller departing from Arlington County Fire Station 5 on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation/Mike Jardeleza and Teyonte Best.

Surrounded by nearly 500 fellow walkers, Frank Siller took the first steps of a 537-mile march Sunday morning with his brother on his mind. Siller runs the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a nonprofit service group focused on veterans and first responders. The organization is named for a route into Manhattan — from the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel entrance to the site of the World Trade Center — that Frank’s brother, Stephen Siller, ran in full firefighter turnout gear on the morning of 9/11 before he died when the towers collapsed.

Frank Siller, who founded Tunnel to Towers soon after 9/11, dubbed the endeavor the Never Forget Walk. He started Sunday with a private wreath-laying ceremony with his family at the Pentagon, then joined the other participants to begin the walk at nearby Arlington County Fire Station 5, one of the stations that responded to the Pentagon on 9/11. He plans to walk to New York, where he’ll finish the trek by retracing his brother’s final footsteps, ending at the 9/11 Memorial.

Siller plans to finish on Sept. 11, 2021.

Tunnel to Towers Never Forget Walk
Hundreds of people joined Frank Siller as he set off on his 537-mile journey from Arlington County Fire Station 5 on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation/Mike Jardeleza and Teyonte Best.

“As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I’m walking to remember not only my brother, Stephen Siller, who gave his life that day, but also every first responder who paid the ultimate price fighting to protect their neighbor on 9/11,” Siller said in a statement to Coffee or Die Magazine. “The Never Forget Walk honors their heroism and sends their families our deepest gratitude and prayers for the loss they’ve endured. For these heroes and their loved ones, we must never forget.”

Stephen Siller was a firefighter assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1 and had just finished a night shift on the morning of the attacks. He was headed toward a golf outing with his brothers when the North Tower was struck. He immediately returned to his fire station and grabbed his 60 pounds of turnout gear. 

After driving his own truck toward the towers, he found the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel blocked. Parking his truck, he ran the length of the nearly 2-mile tunnel and then the half-mile to the towers in full firefighter bunker gear. He then made multiple trips into the towers until he was killed when the South Tower collapsed.

Read Next: Tunnel to Towers To Read All 7,059 Names of Service Members Killed Since 9/11

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Coffee Or Die Photo
From the Team Room to Team Room Design: An Operator’s Creative Journey

BRCC partners with Team Room Design for an exclusive T-shirt release!

Coffee Or Die Photo
Get Your Viking On: The Exclusive 30 Sec Out BRCC Shirt Club Design

Thirty Seconds Out has partnered with BRCC for an exclusive shirt design invoking the God of Winter.

Grizzly Forge BRCC shirt
Limited Edition: Grizzly Forge Blades on an Awesome BRCC Shirt

Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.

BRCC Limited Edition Josh Raulerson Blackbeard Skull Shirt
From Naval Service to Creative Canvas: BRCC Veteran Artist Josh Raulerson

Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.

Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2024 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved