The Tunnel to Towers Foundation Details Ceremony to Honor American Service Members Killed in the War on Terror
WASHINGTON, June 17, 2021 -- This afternoon, standing on the National Mall, Tunnel to Towers Foundation Chairman and CEO Frank Siller announced for the first time the names of the more than seven thousand American service members killed in the War on Terror will be read aloud on Veterans Day at the Lincoln Memorial.
"When our nation was attacked on 9/11, a generation of Americans volunteered to serve in our country's response. We at Tunnel to Towers believe that it is our responsibility and our honor to make sure those that made the ultimate sacrifice are never forgotten," said Siller.
Siller was joined by Gold Star widows and catastrophically injured veterans, as well as veterans Congressman Brian Mast, (FL-18) Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-1) and Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-6).
"War can be distant... but for those families that lost somebody, it is anything but distant. The way that sacrifice is made whole, is to never forget what that sacrifice was for," said Congressman Mast.
"This isn't just to honor those who are fallen, but also their families and their friends and all those they served with, now and for generations in the future to learn about their sacrifice," said Congressman Zeldin.
"My brothers and sisters who have fought for this country will not be forgotten and we will fight for what they sacrificed for," said Congressman Waltz.
Speaking at today's ceremony was Carmela Raguso wife to Master Sergeant Christopher Raguso and Rebecca Briggs wife of Technical Sergeant Dashan Briggs. The two Air National Guardsmen were killed on March 15, 2018, when their helicopter crashed in Iraq.
Emceeing the event was Nancy Gass Gold Star spouse of Staff Sergeant Girard "Jerry" Gass Jr., a Green Beret, who died on August 3, 2014, while on a combat operation in Afghanistan.
Shannon Slutman lost her Husband USMC Staff Sergeant Christopher Slutman on April 8, 2019. He was killed in Afghanistan when his convoy was hit by an IED.
"America, we need you to remember. For a Gold Star spouse, every single day is Memorial Day," said Shannon.
USMC Sgt Rob Jones was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. In July of that year, Sgt Jones triggered a landmine. The blast resulted in an above-knee amputation of his legs.
"I'm thankful that I live in a country that has millions of people in it that are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country. I'm thankful that I live in a country that recognizes the gravity of that sacrifice and is thankful for it. I believe that all Americans should strive every day to live a life that is worthy of that sacrifice. And the first part of that is remembering them," said Jones.
USMC Cpl Larry Bailey was serving in Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed in 2011, an attack that killed a fellow Marine. While trying to repel the assault, Larry triggered an IED that resulted in the loss of both his legs and his left arm.
The Foundation is looking for Gold Star families to join us in honoring the memories of those they lost.
Go to T2T.org/20-Anniversary for more information on the ceremony or to sign up to be a reader at the Washington D.C. ceremony on Veterans Day.
Additional assets are available upon request.
About 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 by providing these heroes and the families they leave behind with mortgage-free homes. For more about the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to DO GOOD, please visit T2T.org.
Follow Tunnel to Towers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @Tunnel2Towers.
Trevor Tamsen - Tunnel to Towers Foundation
[email protected] 916-524-0941
Kerry Rom - Targeted Victory
[email protected] 919-741-7314
SOURCE Tunnel to Towers Foundation