My View, Ben Parkinson - USA run was an inspiration

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Well it’s back home to the UK after 10 days in New York and Washington with other lads from Pilgrimbandits.

We were going as guests of honour at the Tunnel to Towers run.

This is held every year in honour of Fireman Stephen Siller.

He got the call on 9/11 but his fire engine couldn’t get through the traffic so he got out and ran through the tunnel to get to the World Trade Centre.

He was an unbelievably brave man and he died when the towers collapsed.

Every year thousands run in his memory to raise money for fire service and forces injured, and for hurricane victims.

It was an unbelievable day.

People in wheelchairs had to go first through the tunnels and my mate Stu helped push me.

He lost most of his sight in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

Every student from West Point Military Academy does the run.

They came past us all singing at the top of their voices and every single one saluted us.

Then, as we came out of the tunnel, was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.

The route is lined by firemen, 343 of them, each one holding up a picture of a firefighter who died on 9/11.

They were cheering and supporting us which made us so proud.

After us and the West Point officers came 30,000 runners.

The event will be held every year and people will never forget.

The firemen then took us to Ground Zero.

It’s so hard to describe it.

There are waterfalls and pools which seem to drop away forever and all the names of those who died are engraved.

Then they took us to Fire House 10. This station was nearly destroyed when the towers fell and over half of its firemen died.

Members of the public are not usually allowed in but they did us a very great honour and allowed us to go in and look around and see some of the fire engines which actually played a part in the rescues at the twin towers.

We then went to see a baseball game at the New York Mets.

Can I be absolutely honest and say it was the most boring sport I have ever seen in my life!

Sorry Mets, but it definitely wasn’t rugby.

But they made us very welcome and they sold the biggest hot dogs I have seen in my life.

Next we moved on to Washington... but more of that later!

Before I go, a very quick heads up.

I need Santas, reindeers and elves to join me in Sandall Park in early December.

More details soon. Be ready!

*Ben Parkinson, Injured Doncaster war hero