By Anna-Claire Terry
Dan Cannon and the staff at Cannon Carpet One are teaming up with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to the Towers Foundation to build homes for veterans and those who have become disabled while protecting others.
Stephen Siller was a 34-year-old husband, father and New York City firefighter. He was leaving his station and on his way to play golf when he heard about the Sep. 11 terrorist attack. Siller cancelled his plans and rushed to his station to help his fellow firemen who were called to the disaster site. He arrived at the station of the elite rescue company to find that everyone had already responded to the call. He attempted to drive to the site, but the Brooklyn Battery Tunnnel was already closed when he approached it.
Siller then put all 60 pounds of his gear on and ran almost three miles to the World Trade Center. Siller lost his life on that day, along with 342 other firemen.
Siller’s brother Frank wanted to start the foundation to remember the legacy of Stephen Siller.
The foundation’s mission is to honor the sacrifice Siller made and to honor military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to the Towers foundation builds Smart Homes for the most catastrophically injured service members. Each home is custom designed to fit the needs of each individual.
Siller’s story was told to a captivated audience, including members of the Opelika Fire Department who gathered at Cannon Carpet One in Opelika on Friday by Tom DelPino, a retired New York fireman who now volunteers with the Siller Foundation.
DelPino traveled from New York to present Cannon Carpet One with an award for their efforts and donations in the building of homes for veterans. Cannon Carpet One will be providing all carpet and flooring for Smart Homes built by the foundation in the counties of Lee, Russell, Tallapoosa, Macon and Chambers.
DelPino said Carpet One has started a new program in which they will ask for a ten dollar donation after each time they sell flooring. All of the proceeds will go to the building of Smart Homes.
Cannon said it is an absolute honor to help our country’s wounded warriors.
“They have sacrificed everything for us, and it feels good to be able to give back to them a little bit,” he said.
Cannon was presented with a piece of scrap metal from Ground Zero.
“I was very touched to have a piece of Ground Zero and that the Carpet One members were chosen to receive that honor,” Cannon said.
According to DelPino, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to the Towers Foundation is a great thing because it helps the men and women who have served this country and returned from duty completely different than when they left.
“They wrote a blank check to this country, and we really owe them,” DelPino said.