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Twenty-one years in the past, on September 11, 2001, our nation skilled the most important terrorist assault on US soil. Throughout the nation, folks watched because the World Commerce Heart collapsed, a aircraft flying to Washington, D.C. was hijacked and brought to the Pentagon, and 44 harmless folks died in a area in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. That very same day, I misplaced my brother, firefighter Steven Siller. In whole, 2977 folks died by the hands of hatred.

To this present day, many are nonetheless haunted by the tragedy of 9/11. These affected by 9/11 sickness, the 7,000 army households who misplaced family members within the warfare on terror, and households like mine whose family members responded to the 9/11 name. that fateful day.

You will need to acknowledge that the heroism proven that day was nothing in need of unbelievable. As we replicate on the 21 years since September 11, 2001, we should keep in mind the unbelievable sacrifices made by abnormal individuals who died like heroes.


We keep in mind Gene Raggio, the port chief often known as the Mayor of the Twin Towers, who survived the assault on the World Commerce Heart in 1993 and sacrificed his life to save lots of others on 9/11.

Steven Siller, New York firefighter and 9/11 hero.
(Frank Siller // Tunnel to the Towers)

We keep in mind NYPD officer Moira Smith, who was within the South Tower serving to folks evacuate, saying over and over, “Do not look, transfer, transfer!” It’s unknown how many individuals she saved.

We keep in mind the person within the pink bandana, Wells Crowther, who saved numerous lives on a typical day at work. He was neither a fireman nor a policeman, however like many who day, he sacrificed himself for others.

We keep in mind Todd Beemer and the opposite courageous passengers of Flight 93 who fought valiantly in opposition to the hijackers earlier than they crashed in Shanksville. We vow to always remember Todd’s final phrases: “Let’s go!” or the good braveness he displayed in his remaining moments.

We keep in mind FDNY Battalion Commander Orio Palmer, alongside together with his group of brothers, who climbed to the 78th flooring of the South Tower to assist evacuate civilians, sacrificing their lives within the course of.

We keep in mind my brother, FDNY firefighter Steven Siller, strapping 60 kilos of drugs to his again and operating by way of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the towers, the place he gave his life saving others, abandoning his spouse and 5 kids.

We keep in mind those that each day had been in a heap, on the lookout for their brother, their brothers. The heroes who’ve labored at Floor Zero for therefore lengthy and watch their rescue missions flip into restoration missions are nonetheless struggling. From this, they developed ailments related to publicity to toxins, which proceed to have an effect on hundreds of individuals each day.

These courageous women and men willingly ran in the direction of the fireplace, crawled over the bent metal and the rubble, and fought for our freedoms overseas, and so we’ll make sure that their legacy shouldn’t be forgotten.


Yearly, with out fail, their names are learn aloud to recollect the sacrifices they made. The studying of names is a convention that may stay on lengthy after we’re all gone, as our responsibility to “By no means Overlook” continues and our work isn’t completed.

Thick columns of smoke rise into the sky from the area behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left, where the World Trade Center was located on Tuesday, September 9.  11, 2001.

Thick columns of smoke rise into the sky from the world behind the Statue of Liberty, decrease left, the place the World Commerce Heart was positioned on Tuesday, September 9. 11, 2001.
(AP Picture/Daniel Halshizer)

There’s a quote generally attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “Each man has two deaths, when he’s buried within the floor and when somebody says his title for the final time. In a way, people may be immortal.” This sense is what the Tunnel to Towers Basis is all about. We work tirelessly each day to make sure that those that misplaced their lives on 9/11, the women and men who’ve since given their lives combating for our freedoms each day, and people who endure or die because of illness, related to 9/11 are immortalized. Our first duty is to make sure that their names are by no means forgotten and that their reminiscence lives on by way of our work.


Confronted with adversity, Individuals got here collectively to assist one another, to like one another. Out of this tragedy, the Tunnel to Towers Basis was born. We function on the belief that whereas we’re right here, with the time we now have left, we now have an obligation to assist others. In response to St. Francis of Assisi: “Brethren, whereas there’s time, allow us to do good.”


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