The September 11 attacks, commonly referred to as 9/11, was one of the most defining and transformational events of the 21st century. September 11, 2021, marks 20 years since the tragic events unfolded. The anniversary reminds us of those precious lives we lost, and the bravery who answered the call to action.
After any tragedy, there are those who rush to help. One such charity established in the wake of 9/11 is the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. For 20 years the Foundation has supported our nation’s first responders, veterans, and their families in a variety of ways.
One notable program is their ‘Smart Home Program,’ which builds mortgage-free smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders. Tunnel to Towers has built dozens of Smart Homes for our Military Veterans, with many more currently in progress. Watch the clip below to see a Smart Home made beginning to end.
Inside the Foundation
Tunnel for Towers has many incredible people within it’s organization, including retired FDNY Battalion Commander Jack Oehm. Jack spent 33 years in the Fire Department and lost 20 men on 9/11. As Jack recounts, “it was an incredibly sad day for us, but we marched through it because of the goodness of America.”
After 20 years as a charity, we asked Jack what aspect of the foundation instills the most pride. “We have stayed true to our mission,” said Oehm. “We have stayed true to honour the sacrifices of those who died on 9/11, in what was the first battle of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).”
The foundation has continued to expand the services they offer to our veterans and first responders. As several theaters of operation close, including Iraq and Afghanistan, Tunnel for Towers has evolved. “We are expanding our programs to include current Police, Fire Fighters, and EMS who are injured in the line of duty,” says Oehm. “We are also addressing the Police and Fire personnel who have died of a related illness from the events of 9/11 such as cancer, etc.”
The Never Forget Collection
In remembrance of 9/11, Oakley Standard Issue has released the Never Forget Collection. In partnership with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Oakley Standard Issue is donating $25,000 to support a number of programs.
The collection is featured on two unique Oakley styles: Holbrook and Gascan. Adorned with custom artwork inspired by the twin towers, the collection features the inside pad print “Never Forget” and includes a custom microbag.