YUMA, Ariz. - A group of Yuma Fire Department (YFD) firefighters from Station #3 expressed gratitude by participating in their 5th Annual Stephen Siller Tunnels to Tower Memorial Run, named after one of the brave men who lost his life on 9/11.
Wednesday morning, the men geared up in their bunker pants, turnout jackets, and air packs, as many of them reflected on where they were on this day 18-years ago.
Some may have been off-duty like FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller.
YFD Captain Brandon Case shared more about why the fire department has honored Siller over the past five years.
“He was an off-duty firefighter who was on his way home, he was married with five kids. When the first tower was struck, he went back to work. He grabbed his gear and was responding to the towers when he got stuck in one of the tunnels in New York. He got out of his vehicle to put his gear on his back and ran the three miles to the towers. He was up in one of the towers when it first collapsed.”
Firefighters across the nation will never forget the ultimate sacrifice Siller made for our nation.
Our local firefighters formed a moving tribute by jogging three miles from YFD Station #3 on Arizona avenue and 24th street to Station #1 near downtown.
After 45-minutes, they made a pit-stop at Fourth Avenue Junior High School (FAJHS), where the students have no memories of the tragic events that took place on September 11, 2001.
However, students honored the thousands of lives lost by celebrating some of their local heroes.
FAJHS student Max Pacheco said, “Although I wasn’t born I know that a lot of American people died, and we are here to remember them and pay our respects.”
Another student, Nick Fielts added, “I’m going to put my hand on my heart and say thank you.”
Laila Daniel, also a student at FAJHS said she appreciates the local firefighters because they’re helping and fighting to save lives.
Students, staff, and firefighters all stood together to take a moment of silence and recite the pledge of allegiance to strengthen American unity for generations to come.
Following the run, Captain Case said, “I’m humbled by all of these children that are here. Humbled by all of my brothers and sisters that are here. I can’t say thank you enough. I’m honored.”
FAJHS’s principal wanted students to be able to understand the significance of remembering the events of 9/11 and how that day forever changed American history.