WNY 9/11 Survivor Pays Back In Her Own Way
Channel 4 (WIVB-TV) tells us that on September 11th, 2001, Lisa Amatura was one of several workers from the Ingram Micro Williamsville office to be in New York City attending a meeting on the 78th floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center.
“It was just what we thought was an explosion of some kind, a lot of paper and debris,” she recalled.
“I got to my feet and made my way down to the stairwell,” she added. “It took about an hour to get down 78 flights of stairs.”
Shortly thereafter, Tower 2 fell. Amatura managed to make her way to safety and ironically two days later, on September 13th, she found out she wasn’t alone that day.
“I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter,” Amatura said. “She’s 19 now. She joined her sister, who was two at the time. They’re 21 and 19 today. I have a nine-year-old. So three girls who are able to tell the story.
Amatura credits first responders like Stephen Siller who helped her that fateful day and is the reason she was running this past Saturday. Siller is Amatura's inspiration for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Siller was an off-duty firefighter when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. He, hearing the news went to his firehouse finding that crews had already left... So he jumped in his car and attempted to drive there. He found himself cut off in traffic in the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel so he strapped on all of his gear and ran through the tunnel to the towers.
The 5K is held every year, except this year due to the pandemic. But that didn’t stop the Cheektowaga Police Department’s SWAT team from running on their own this past weekend. With a limited number of participants, they still managed to raise money for the Tunnel To Towers Foundation.
Officers from Cheektowaga welcomed the fact that Amatura wanted to run with them.
The organizers plan on bringing the 5K back again in 2021.