NEW YORK — Leaders of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation revealed their plans for commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks at One World Observatory in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday.
For the first time, the nonprofit organization will pay off the mortgages of first responders who lost their lives to 9/11-related illnesses and are survived by young children.
The organization teamed up with the FEALGood Foundation, which advocates for and provides resources to families affected by 9/11-related illnesses.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation chairman and CEO Frank Siller said the FEALGood Foundation provided them with a list of over 2,000 families who have lost a loved one to 9/11-related illnesses.
Siller introduced the first two families who will be supported by the new initiative during a news conference Tuesday morning.
“As of today, they’ll have no more mortgage,” he said. “A mortgage free home takes the biggest burden off these families … We owe it to them. We owe it to these families.”
Watch the announcement in the video player below.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation honors the memory of Stephen Siller, an FDNY firefighter who died on 9/11 after strapping on his gear and running through the Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers.
The annual Tunnel to Towers NYC 5K Run & Walk was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the event, which retraces Stephen Siller’s path from Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan, will take place on Sept. 26.
Money raised by the foundation goes to first responders, service men and women in need, and their families.