Very heartwarming and patriotic morning in Brooklyn as 30,000 runners from around the world gathered at the entrance to the Battery Tunnel for the the start of the 8th annual #TunnelToTowers 9/11 5K Run. Organized by the Stephen Siller Foundation to honor the memory of #FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller who was killed on 9/11, the race also honors all #firstresponders and #military who put their lives on the line for us every day.
The race was scheduled to start at 9:40 AM. When I arrived at 8:30, the streets of #RedHook were already lined for block after block with the many thousands of runners who had come from literally all over to take part in this magnificent event.
Walking through the crowd of runners, I stopped by the Engine 202, Ladder 101 "Red Hook Raiders" Firehouse which lost 7 men on 9/11. In true Firehouse form the firefighters offered me a cup of coffee and donuts and then introduced me to a group of firefighters who had come over from London for the run.
At the end of the block, on a platform high above the street, Joe Piscopo was emceeing the pre-race ceremonies. Joe introduced me and I spoke for no more than 30 seconds. -- Not a day for political speeches. -- On the street below #Firefighters, #PoliceOfficers and 9/11 family members shared the bittersweet memories of cruel death and extraordinary courage. Soldiers and Marines stood by in quiet solidarity. The National Anthem was played and all stood at attention.
The run began and after about 30 minutes I walked back down the street to thank the guys in the Red Hook Raiders Firehouse. Back out on the street, I saw Rosemary Cain, mother of #Firefighter George Cain who was murdered on 9/11, standing back in the crowd waiting her turn to start the race. We spoke briefly. September 11, 2001 must never be forgotten and we must never let down our guard against Islamist terrorism.