For the second year in a row, Brothers Before Others entered a team in the NYC Tunnel to Towers 5k that topped 150+ members. This year our team ran as ‘Team Caprio’, running in honor of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Sorrells Caprio who was killed in the line of duty in May of 2018.
Our team was honored to play host to several members of Amy’s family, including her parents, husband, sister, best friend. coworkers and her cousin, Eric Brennan, who is also a Baltimore County Police Corporal/BBO Member/Police Emerald Society of Baltimore President.
The weekend began early Saturday morning as Amy’s family made the journey from Baltimore to Jersey City, NJ, via Amtrak, helped a bit by our boys over at the Newark (NJ) Police FOP Lodge 12.
The family was then hosted by Port Authority Police Lieutenant Scott Pomerantz, where they were given a guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and World Trade Center Observatory.
For NYPD (Ret)/BBO Board Member Rob O’Donell, the trip down to the WTC plaza held a deeper meaning, as it was his first return to the site since that day and the days that followed working on ‘the pile’.
What visit to lower Manhattan would be complete if we didn’t stop by the iconic civil servant bar, O’Hara’s Pub, located so close to the WTC plaza that it sustained substantial damage on 9/11? From the minute you walk into O’Hara’s, you are greeted by wall to wall police, fire and EMS patches from all over the world. If you look close enough, BBO and Proud Pig “may” have left our mark there as well.
After heading back to NJ, several members of our team gathered on the rooftop of the Hyatt House in Jersey City and strategized for the next day’s event. The food, drink and camaraderie were all second to none.
As always seems to be the case, six o’clock in the morning came around real quick. As such, the aforementioned food and drink took on a slightly different meaning. Nonetheless, our team was up at’m. Members from as far as California, Colorado, and Canada, some in full uniform, boarded the buses and began the trek across the Hudson.
As a charity dedicated to honoring officers killed in the line of duty and taking care of the loved ones left behind, it’s hard for our members to escape the reality of the dangers of our profession. Sunday morning was no exception. Gathered and running with the family of lost hero, our members woke to the news that NYPD Police Officer Brian Mulkeen had been killed in the line of duty mere hours ago. With both active and retired members of the NYPD running with us, our assemblage suddenly became twice as significant.
There really are no words to describe the emotions that come from participating in the NYC Tunnel to Towers 5k. I can tell you all about the 4 years I’ve personally participated and relay stories from our members and families who have done the same. Knowing the background and realizing that you are literally tracing the steps of hero first responders who, when traffic was at a standstill in the Battery Tunnel on 9/11, grabbed their equipment and ran towards the World Trade Center Towers, is enough to make the most stoic people get emotional.
Every single person that participates that day carries their own emotional “weight”. Some are there paying tribute to a loved one lost that day. Some are there are remembering an iconic skyline forever changed. Some are there mourning a loss of a collective loss of innocence that our country has never really recovered from. As was the case with our team, some are there honoring a sacrifice that happened hundreds of miles away. The participants include people from all walks of life, from all over the country, civil servants in full uniform, members of the armed forces (often running to cadence), all ages and fitness levels. No matter who you are or why you came, as you exit the Battery Tunnel and are greeted by the sight of the World Trade Center and a street lined with the faces of our heroes lost, our heroes currently serving and people cheering you on and thanking you, it’s literally overwhelming.
We remind our members all the time: you will get out of this profession what you put into it. The American law enforcement community is filled some of the generous and fraternal humans walking this earth. No one takes care of police officers and their families like police officers and their families. Our Founder/President Michael Burke has created a group that will bring members from thousands of miles away to honor a hero they never met yet knew well. Personally, I was humbled at the turn out. It filled my heart to see members I had never met and was great seeing the fraternity alive and well.
We are grateful to both the Sorrells and Caprio families for allowing us to honor Amy. While even some of our team members were unaware, Amy’s family made the trip and participated in the event despite having to be back in Baltimore in time for Monday’s sentencing for the last mutt involved in Amy’s murder. There are no words for the strength, love, grace and heartfelt generosity that the Sorrells and Caprios have shown in the face of tragedy and loss. Amy’s legacy will forever be woven into the fabric of this group and your families will serve as examples and inspiration for our members. So Thank YOU.
*Team Caprio Proudly Sponsored By*