Before they passed, they had managed to instill in Stephen their motto: While we have time, let us do good.
After the death of his parents, he moved to Long Island where his siblings raised him. When he grew up, he returned to Staten Island, and became reacquainted with a schoolmate, Sally, whom he married. They had five children.
Note: This program has concluded, but please do read this inspiring story.
Roger is a retired New York City firefighter and former Marine. Roger spent his entire firefighting career with Ladder 131 in RedHook, Brooklyn. He was also a responder to the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. He suffered the loss of many personal friends and colleagues. All together, 343 firefighters were killed.
It was difficult for him to speak about that day. But he did share about one colleague who did not survive.
Growing up, Stephen Siller’s life was difficult. Born on Staten Island, he was the youngest of seven children. His parents both died by the time he was ten. They were "lay Franciscans," that is followers of St. Francis of Assisi.
Once there, Stephen toiled to save others and eventually perished alongside 342 other New York City firefighters.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation was founded to honor Stephen’s memory. One of the projects they have embraced is building “smart homes” for veterans wounded in the War on Terror.
A “smart home” is a specially adapted home for disabled people, which allows them to function better on their own. A smart home features wide hallways, flooring that’s friendly to wheelchairs, adjustable cabinetry, lower stovetops, etc. Lights, heating and cooling, garage doors, etc. can be operated from a smart phone or iPad.
These homes help our disabled war heroeslive a life as normally as possible.
But smart homes aren’t cheap. Each one costs about $500,000.
That’s where your $10 comes in.
When you purchase flooring, your Carpet One sales rep will ask you to contribute just $10 toward one of these smart homes.
And, yes, $10 will make a difference.
You see, Carpet One has 800 stores nationwide.
If just 10% of our customers donate $10 that will yield $800,000!
If just 50% of our customers donate $10 that will yield $4,000,000!
As Roger said, "We’re aiming for 50%."
Mohawk Industries has pledged to donate the flooring materials required for up to 50 homes. And Carpet One has pledged to donate the labor for installation, again for up to 50 homes!
Mike Robinson is confident the Tunnel to Towers effort will be a success. He explained, “Carpet One has always been community oriented and I’m so honored to be a part of such a great organization. This is one of the best programs we’ve participated in. I know our customers and I know we will exceed our goal.”
Roger ended his talk with a presentation to Mike Robinson of a shadow box containing recovered steel from the World Trade Center. It is now displayed in our store. Please stop by to see it. Think of those who died. Think of their families. And whisper a little prayer.
Robinson's Interiors • (559) 582-2610
In the upcoming months, when you purchase your new flooring from Robinson's Interiors Carpet One, we’ll be asking you to donate $10 for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
With that $10, you’ll be helping severely disabled veterans of the War on Terror.
To kickoff this campaign, Roger Kilfoil, who represents Tunnel to Towers, spoke to our sales staff and other community members, including many local firefighters.
When he got to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, which goes under the East River, it was blocked. So he threw 65 pounds of gear on his back and rushed on foot through gridlocked traffic and through the tunnel to the Twin Towers.
Stephen was a member of an elite fire squad. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Stephen was 35 years old. He had just finished his night shift and was on his way to meet his brothers for golf. On his scanner, he heard about the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Immediately, he turned his car around and phoned his wife, asking her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later. Then he said he loved her.