ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - It was an emotional morning as hundreds made their way to Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs for the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk.
First responders, military, their families and supporters arrived dark and early to stretch before it began.
"I’m out here today just to remember all those that lost their lives that day," said Brittany Eves.
When the sun rose, it was time to start the 3.1-mile run.
It is a tribute to honor a New York City firefighter who died after strapping on his gear and running from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers.
"It’s just a real honor to represent Stephen Siller and the FDNY," said Seminole County firefighter Clay Dunkle.
He ran with 35 pounds of gear on and crossed the finish line in memory of those lost 20 years ago.
"That’s what Stephen Siller did. He wore all of his gear and ran from the tunnel to the tower. It would be unfair if we didn’t," Dunkle said.
Teacher Angie Leeds also ran.
She says her son was born in 2001.
She knows she will never forget.
Now, she says her job is to make sure those who weren’t alive for the attacks know the meaning of Patriot's Day.
"My students now were not born during that time. It’s something that they don’t realize how much the world has changed," she said.
This is the ninth year Central Florida participated in the run.