1. SOUNDBITE (English) Frank Siller, Tunnel to Towers Foundation:
"So much and rightfully so, is spoken of 9/11, but let's remember 9/12 and what happened after and the great loss of life after. It is a terrorist attack that keeps on taking lives. That we at the Tunnel to Towers Foundation promise that we will never forget."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Frank Siller, Tunnel to Towers Foundation:
"Tunnel to Towers will pay off the mortgages of first responders who have died of 9/11 illnesses that leave young families behind."
3 . SOUNDBITE (English) Frank Siller, Tunnel to Towers Foundation:
"So many were digging on that pile to find my brother. To find their brothers, their sisters, their mothers, their fathers. And they stayed down there for days. And weeks. And months to do it, and they weren't worried about themselves. They wanted to bring some peace to other families. They wanted to first save and then they wanted to recover these bodies."
The Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation, started after 9/11 to support families of fallen first responders, announced it will pay off the mortgages of families of first responders who have died of 9/11 related illnesses.
"It is a terrorist attack that keeps on taking lives," Frank Siller, of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation said.
First responder families with children 19-years-old and younger are eligible to apply.
"So many were digging on that pile... they stayed down there for days. And weeks. And months to do it, and they weren't worried about themselves," Siller said.
The foundation is named after Siller's brother, FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.
Firefighter Siller died trying to saves lives after the terrorist attack.
The families of FDNY firefighter Thomas Oelkers and NYPD Sergeant Jeremiah Hunt were the first to have their mortgage paid off.
Oelkers died of cancer in May and leaves behind his wife and three daughters nine, 11 and 15-years-old.
"When Tom and I bought our home, we knew that it would be our forever home," Erika Oelkers said.
"We dreamt of raising our three daughters there, growing old there together, watching our grandchildren there. And while I am devastated. But he's not here to enjoy that with us. I am thankful for this program that keeps that dream alive."
Hunt died of cancer in 2019 and leaves behind a wife and four children.
"There aren't adequate words to express what this means to our family, to know that we can stay together in our family home and look towards a brighter future," Sarah Hunt said.
"I hope you know that it also brings to my heart such joy to know that those that suffer through illness right now give some hope that there will be others looking out for them, something we didn't realize. And we are so grateful for that. And on behalf of those people as well. So thank you."