After the official 9/11 “Tribute in Light” was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tunnel to Towers Foundation CEO Frank Siller vowed he won’t let that happen.
Siller, who lost his firefighter brother in the terror attacks, told “Fox & Friends Weekend” the lights will shine skyward as always, as will the solemn reading of the names of the victims.
“You know, it broke my heart. It really broke my heart,” he said Saturday after speaking to fellow 9/11 family members and people across the country who were upset about the cancelations of the memorial tributes.
“I had one retired firefighter that was breaking down on the phone that couldn’t believe they were doing it,” Siller recalls. “We said, ‘wait, wait, wait .. Tunnel to Towers, we got this.’ We are going to do it … We are going to make sure those two big beautiful beams of light, that represent the loss on 9/11 will be shining this year at Ground Zero.”
According to museum officials, this year’s Tribute in Light was canceled because officials feared the virus could spread among the 40 stagehands and electricians who set up the display, The Wall Street Journal reported.
But Siller said it’s “not so difficult,” noting that construction has been ongoing since Phase Two of the coronavirus reopening plans, which has already been passed.
Tunnels to Towers is hiring electricians from Broadway, who have been out of work, and others who worked on the project in previous years to position the twin beams of light that shine four miles high.
“It’s not so hard to keep them [workers] safe,” Siller said. “That’s why I don’t know what’s going on over there.”
“All I know is that the Tunnel to Towers Foundation wants to make sure that we never forget the sacrifice that was made on Sept. 11 and the loss of life,” he said. “That’s what our responsibility is. That’s why we are going to make sure we are reading those names live on Sept. 11.”
His organization’s reading of the names, including family members who want to participate, will take place at Liberty and Church streets, the site of the World Trade Center, where the event was held before the 9/11 memorial was completed.
“We could have literally hundreds of thousands of people march right now because of the protests,” Siller said. “They are so upset about this. We’re not going to do it. We are going to make sure that we have those lights shining so everybody, not just in New York, can see them but around this country and remember those who perished.”