When 2,977 people lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, firefighter Stephen Siller was among them.

Stephen was assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1. He had just finished his shift when he got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He immediately drove back to Squad 1 and grabbed his gear. He then drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed for security purposes.

Determined to carry out his duty, he put on his 60 pounds of gear and ran on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he lost his life while saving others. 

In his memory, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation was born. Its mission is to honor the sacrifice Stephen made that fateful day. The foundation also honors the military and first responders who continue to make sacrifices of life and limb for our country.

Tunnel to Towers Foundation bus at the Lebanon Home Depot store.

One of the things the foundation does is build smart homes for wounded veterans and first responders, free of charge to them. This helps them regain some independence in their lives. 

Frank Siller, the CEO of Tunnel to Towers and Stephen’s brother, is in the process of walking over 500 miles on his Never Forget Walk for the 20th anniversary of 9/11. He is completing this walk in six states, over six weeks.

On Monday, Frank made a stop at the Home Depot in Lebanon. Home Depot is one of the biggest sponsors of the foundation. 

Frank Siller gives a speech to Home Depot employees and firefighters from the South Lebanon Fire Department.

Siller gave an inspiring speech to the employees of the Lebanon store along with firefighters from the South Lebanon Fire Department who came out to support him. He mentioned how Home Depot’s support has helped to fund numerous homes for wounded heroes over the years.

Smart homes make a big difference in the lives of those who pay such a steep price to protect the citizens of the United States, he said, and Tunnels to Towers is committed to building at least 30 more smart homes.

Frank Siller with SLFD Chief Jeff Marley.

While in the area, Siller also stopped for a quick photo at Allwein Carpet One as he was trekking down Route 422. The Carpet One coop is also a supporter of the Tunnel to Towers foundation.

Frank Siller, in white t-shirt, stops for a pic with Allwein Carpet One during his trek down Route 422. (Provided photo)

Tunnel to Towers accepts donations to further its mission. Learn more about them on the foundation’s website.

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