Thousands assembled in Lower Manhattan on Sunday morning for a run to remember.
Over the past decade, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum 5K Run/Walk has endeavored to keep alive the memories of all those who tragically lost their lives in the 2001 terror attacks, while also raising funds for the memorial. Slipping on their sneakers for the 11th year in a row, some 4,000 participants lined up at North End Avenue outside of Brookfield Place, despite the rainy weather.
The 3.1-mile trek is intended to mirror the route first responders took down West Street as they made their way to Ground Zero on 9/11, and during the nine-month rescue and recovery effort that followed.
Although the morning saw a heavy overcast, a massive turnout of runners congregated in droves. For some, the 5K has become a yearly tradition, for others, it was their first time. However, in lacing up, all agreed to “never forget.”
Calebe Silva was only one when the towers fell that fateful day, yet he says he is aware that life in New York was drastically altered. Being his very first run, Silva told amNewYork Metro that he is proud that the financial proceeds are keeping the memorial open and free.
“My dad works in the city, my brother works in the city. I live right outside of New York, in New Jersey. So, I was definitely impacted,” Silva said. “This run and this memorial event is definitely something to lift people up.”
The runners set off just after 8 a.m., with the first person crossing the finish line on Fulton Street between Greenwich and Church Streets in just over 16 minutes. The finish line itself was constructed out of a fire truck adorned with fluttering star-spangled flags. Members of the FDNY applauded those making it to their destination whether they were first or last — everyone just thankful that they made the journey in the honor of their ranks.
Frank Dades, a member of the EMS academy, made the run in 20 minutes. As a runner, Dades told amNewYork Metro that he wanted to participate in a 5K run and felt that the cause for which this one represented is remarkable.
“I wanted to try a 5K, and what better way to jump into a 5K than an amazing event like this, which goes to the 9/11 Museum to help fund it to keep it open,” Dades said. “A lot of people I know including myself are personally affected by 9/11, as well as I work for the Fire Department of New York, so it’s big for us.”
Also at the finish line was live music, fun events such as rock climbing, and an array of food vendors.