Ft. Rucker F.D Honors Lives Lost on 9/11

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 3:47 PM CDT
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FT RUCKER, Ala. (WTVY) - Friday marked the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and the Pentagon. To honor the nearly 3,000 victim’s lives lost, the Fort Rucker Fire Department invited the public to join in on the annual Stephen Siller Memorial Tunnel To Towers Walk.

"When we first started this event a couple of years back, we kind of focused on somebody. We found Stephen Siller’s story,” firefighter Chris Quattlebaum said.

Siller was a New York City firefighter who sacrificed his life on 9/11. In remembrance of Siller, dozens of firefighters, military personnel, and regular citizens walked two and a half miles on Fort Rucker’s base, symbolizing the same distance Siller walked when he went to help victims of the attacks.

“When you look at the sacrifices of Stephen Siller, the things he did, I think it talks about his sense of duty his loyalty, and really his dedication to the overall mission in his life long quest for saving people,” Lieutenant Colonel Phillip R. Lenz of the U.S. Army said.

Looking back, Lt. Col. Lenz still remembers that September day clearly.

“It was anger, it was frustration, it was sadness. Even to this day, as we watch these once a year on the anniversary, it still brings tears to my eyes,” Lenz said.

Many others at the ceremony remembered where they were on 9/11.

“I was actually teaching combat life service course in North Carolina for the military. And as everybody started getting recalled during that day, it was definitely a touching day. A day that I’ll never forget,” Fire Chief Lonny Keen of the Fort Rucker Fire Department.

"It’s hard to believe that time has passed that quickly. As we all know, too, it’s a day that changed us as a nation. It’s changed what we do as a military. It’s changed what we do specifically as first responders,” Lt. Colonel Lenz said.

There were other 9/11 remembrance events across the Wiregrass, including Geneva and Enterprise.

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