The Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced Thursday that it will honor the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 200, terrorist attacks by hosting a memorial ceremony on Veterans Day, during which the organization will read aloud the names of the more than 7,000 troops who have died in the War on Terror.
Congressmen Lee Zeldin and Michael Waltz, along with four Gold Star widows and Tunnel to Towers CEO and Chairman Frank Siller, unveiled the charity’s plans to honor the memories of the fallen service members from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., where the Veterans Day event will also be held.
“When our nation was attacked on 9/11, a generation of Americans volunteered to step forward and serve in our country’s response. It is time that we honor the thousands who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and our freedom, by reading their names aloud,” said Siller.
The War on Terror in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has claimed 7,059 Americans’ lives in the line of duty during the United States military reponse in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East.
“We realized that one of the biggest things, like myself, when you lose a family member is that you never forget,” Siller told Fox News. “I said ‘Oh my goodness, it’s 20 years.’ It’s about time that we read all these great heroes that sacrificed since 9/11 for this great country – that we read their names out loud.”
Both active military members and Gold Star families will read the names of the fallen during the event. Siller said the foundation does not plan on hosting any additional readings, wanting the moment to be a special way to mark the 20th anniversary.
“I think it’s very important that we do it,” Siller explained. “It’s a tremendous undertaking, and it’s something we want to do.”
The foundation’s CEO said their goal is to make the ceremony the right combination of respect and patriotism.
“We’re going to have a lot of great people join us,” Siller said. “It’ll be very meaningful, and we’ll have the proper, respectful manner for these great heroes.”
Siller also plans to honor the lives lost on 9-11 with the Never Forget Walk, a 500-mile trek over 42 days across 6 states from the Pentagon to Shanksville to Ground Zero, stopping at memorials that commemorate those who died in the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.