After Governor Cuomo raised concerns about the financial realities the families of the two executed police officers now face, a 9/11 charity is offering to help out in a big way. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has announced it will pay the mortgages of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Frank Siller said, "When my brother Stephen died on 9/11 along with 342 other firefighters, our family decided that the best way to honor his memory was by supporting first responders. This—and the fact that for the last several years, Tunnel to Towers has been building 'smart homes' for those catastrophically injured in war—makes it fitting that in recognition of the sacrifice of these fallen officers, we ensure that their family homes are financially secure."

On September 11, 2001, Firefighter Stephen Siller had finished his shift at Squad 1 in Park Slope, Brooklyn when he heard that the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Siller went back to the firehouse, got his gear and drove towards lower Manhattan. But the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was closed, so while wearing 60 pounds of equipment, he ran through the tunnel to the World Trade Center.

While still in the tunnel, FDNY Engine Company 239 picked him up and took him to West Street; his brother George told the NY Times in 2002, "We guess he went looking for the guys from Squad 1. That was the last thing we heard." His family created the foundation in his honor, organized a number of run/walks around the country—including one that retraces Stephen's steps— to raise money for other first responders.

Officer Wenjian Liu's survivors include his parents and wife of two months, while Officer Rafael Ramos left behind a wife, a 13-year-old son and a son who is a sophomore at Bowdoin (the college said it will pay for his tuition). Governor Cuomo said, "In times of need and pain, the family of New York always comes together to support each other and following this senseless murder of two of New York’s finest it is heartwarming and commendable for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to step in with such generosity. In the darkest of times, the strength and spirit of community of New Yorkers shines the brightest. During this Holiday season this act of generosity will ensure both the Ramos and Liu families no longer have to worry about how to cover the mortgage payments on their homes. By coming together, we help honor the memory of these fallen heroes."

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation will hold a press conference on Friday, December 26, with more details.