By Luke Seminara
Morristown hasn’t had any parades during the pandemic. That will change this Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021.
Frank Siller will be leading the Never Forget Walk, a Tunnel to Towers Foundation procession marking the upcoming 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The charity’s six-week, 500-mile walk began at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and will end at Ground Zero in Manhattan, commemorating the first responders who laid down their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
For Siller, a 68-year-old Staten Island resident, the walk is a form of catharsis, a symbolic way to pay his respects. His youngest brother, Steven, was a firefighter with Brooklyn’s Squad 1 who perished in the line of duty on that fateful Tuesday two decades ago.
“It allowed me to be at peace with the beauty of America,” Siller said of the event.
Over the years, he has done much to pay tribute to heroes such as his brother. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation aims to cover the mortgages of families whose relatives lost their lives saving others on Sept. 11.
Last year, the Foundation delivered more than 200 mortgage-free homes. Siller seeks to pick up the pace.
He is striving to expand his charity’s efforts to servicemen and women who sacrificed for this country in the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“The foundation has made a promise,” Siller said. “If you go off to serve your country and do not come back, we’re going to deliver a mortgage-free home to your loved ones.”
According to Siller, all of these mourning families soon will become part of the Tunnel to Towers family.
Siller and his team are scheduled to start Sunday’s parade at 11 AM outside of Headquarters Plaza on Speedwell Avenue, near the historic Morristown Green.
They will proceed to Morristown town hall at 200 South St. for a barbecue at 11:30 AM. Siller and others will share some remarks, and a 1,000-square-foot Never Forget mobile exhibit will welcome visitors.
All are invited to participate.
Siller wants to teach younger generations about the 9/11 attacks, and inspire everyone “to do good in the memory of those who gave their lives.”
One of the best ways to do good, he suggests, is to donate. Although Tunnel to Towers has big sponsors, it’s not nearly enough, he said. Every contribution counts, and as little as $11 a month can go a long way, he said.
When the 9/11 anniversary arrives, Siller hopes all Americans take time to reflect, discuss, and pray for those who lost their lives on that day. The country’s greatness, he asserted, “is thanks to those who serve to protect our communities and our homes.”
Siller regards the memory of September 11 as a source of national unity.
“When American lives are in danger, everyone comes together, putting aside their differences.”