Tunnel to Towers Honors The Lives Lost to 9/11-Related Illnesses

NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On Sunday, September 12, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation gathered family, friends and first…

NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On Sunday, September 12, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation gathered family, friends and first responders to pay tribute to the lives lost to 9/11 illnesses over the last 20 years.

Dandai Moreno, wife of NYPD Detective George Moreno, who passed away on July 30, 2021, from 9/11 related cancer, was grateful for the opportunity to honor her husband and share his story. 

«For me, any time his name gets mentioned he feels more around. It makes me feel like he is here, and I hope this makes everyone more aware of who he was and what he gave up to protect us, and what he left behind,» said Danai Moreno, standing alongside their five children.

The emotional ceremony came a day after Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO Frank Siller finished his 537-mile ‘NEVER FORGET Walk’ honoring the lives lost on 9/11.

He promised the Foundation would ensure that those who lost their lives helping America recover from 9/11 would never be forgotten.

«The tragedy of September 11, 2001, is still unfolding today. We are still losing heroes who spent days and weeks searching through the rubble trying to bring closure to families like mine, who were missing their loved ones,» said Siller. He added, «Because of 9/11, thousands upon thousands are getting sick and suffering, and thousands have died of 9/11-related illness. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has promised to never forget the sacrifices made on 9/11 and all of the sacrifices that have been made and continue to be made ever since. That is why we are here today.«

The Foundation pays off mortgages on the homes of first responders who lose their lives in the line of duty and leave behind young children. This year, the Foundation expanded this program to include first responders who lose their lives to 9/11-related illnesses.

For Jennifer McNamara, the widow of FDNY Firefighter John McNamara, this support means realizing a dream she shared with her late husband.

«I am so grateful to the Foundation, which is fulfilling my dream of being able to leave our home to our son mortgage-free. That is a true blessing for us. Ultimately, I am grateful for so many of the faces I see in front of me today. My 9/11 family… 9/11 is not over, not for the families who lost someone on that day, or for those who continue to lose people to 9/11 illness. What is also not over is the love and the camaraderie that we all feel today. My wish is that we hold on to that and we remember each day, not just those we lost, but the feelings we have at this very moment,» said McNamara.

The memorial ceremony, where the names of all those lost to 9/11-related illnesses were read aloud, is the first-ever event of its kind held by the organization and follows the end of the NEVER FORGET Walk: Following the Footsteps of the Fallen, one of the Foundation’s signature events to commemorate the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Siller started his 42-day, 537-mile journey on August 1 at the Pentagon. He then traveled through Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, where he finished the walk at Ground Zero on the morning of September 11. Siller started his final leg of the walk going through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, just as his brother FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller did 20 years earlier.

Frank then walked to FDNY Ten House, home of FDNY Engine 10/Ladder 10, where Stephen once served.

«All I was thinking about was my brother. About what he did running through the tunnel that tragic day to help, and to save lives. We lost 2,977 lives that day, including the first responders who willingly ran into those buildings and gave their lives to save over 20,000 people. My brother was a part of that. He’ll always be remembered as the firefighter who ran through the tunnel and gave up his life to help others,» said Siller.

Photos and video from the Never Forget Walk are available here

Photos and video from the 9/11- Related Illness Ceremony are available here.

The full ceremony is available on the Tunnel to Towers Facebook Page.

For more information on Tunnel to Towers’ mission to support America’s veterans, fallen first responders and Gold Star families, please go to T2T.org and consider donating just $11 per month.

About the Tunnel to Towers Foundation

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. For 20 years the Foundation has supported our nation’s first responders, veterans, and their families by providing these heroes and the families they leave behind with mortgage-free homes. For more about the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to DO GOOD, please visit T2T.org.

Follow Tunnel to Towers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @Tunnel2Towers.

Contact Information

Trevor Tamsentrevor.tamsen@tunnel2towers.org  – 916-524-0941

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SOURCE Tunnel to Towers Foundation