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Caz firefighters run NYC 5K to honor fallen brothers

The Cazenovia Fire Department typically provides mutual aid assistance to surrounding towns like Manlius, Morrisville and Chittenango, but never before to the country's largest fire department: the New York City Fire Department.

Three of Cazenovia's own provided a different type of mutual aid on Sept. 26: A mutual aid request to honor the sacrifice of a fallen brother at the "Towers to Tunnel" run in New York City.

When FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller (Squad 1) heard on the scanner that the World Trade Center had been struck while off-duty, he turned his vehicle around and headed back towards Manhattan. When his truck was prohibited from entering the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, he raced on foot towards the burning towers with his gear strapped to his back and began his historic run. He was last seen alive at the World Trade Center site where he and so many others gave their lives so that others might live.

The Tunnel to Towers Run retraces Siller's footsteps on that fateful day. In running along his path, they honor the memory of all the firefighters, police, and EMS workers who performed their duty that day. Siller was one of 343 FDNY Firefighters, 37 Port Authority Police Officers, and 23 New York Police Department Officers that gave their life that day so others might live.

Cazenovia firefighter James Denio, 20, firefighter/EMT Phillip Sheehan, 21, and firefighter/EMT Mark Allen, 21, were among 20,000 other athletes, firefighters, police officers, and military service members that took part in the 3.1 mile run to honor the memory and sacrifice of Firefighter Siller from the Brooklyn Tunnel to Ground Zero. While on the course of the run, FDNY Firefighters lined the sidewalk for the runners with 343 American Flags to honor their fallen brothers and a tribute to thank the runners who assisted with raising nearly $550,000 dollars to NYC Firefighters Burn Center and Burn Centers across America.

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