The now-traditional reading of victims' names on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was canceled in New York City this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Tunnel to Towers Foundation CEO Frank Siller, who lost his firefighter brother Stephen Stiller 19 years ago, disagreed and wanted to make sure Americans "Never Forget."
For that reason, Friday is seeing two dueling ceremonies in New York City — one at the National Sept. 11 Memorial, with the names being heard over a loudspeaker; and the other organized by Siller's foundation a few blocks away, with relatives reading victims' names in person.
"When the 9/11 Memorial & Museum decided not to read the names out loud, 9/11 families and, myself included, we were appalled that they wouldn't do that because this should be kept sacred because the one thing that we have to do on this day every year is read those names out loud in person and live," Siller told "Fox & Friends" Friday.
"So, we said, if you're not going to do it, we are," Siller told co-host Pete Hegseth, "And here we are doing it and we're proud to take on that responsibility."
Siller explained that his organization helps the most seriously injured and give homes to Gold Star families and first responders' families that had a loved one die in the line of duty.
But, he said, "our first responsibility is on this day every single year to make sure that we always remember and we never forget the sacrifice that was made 19 years ago by some great men and women."
Siller recalls the moment when he realized his brother died in the line of duty.
"At 9:59 we're going to have a moment of silence. That's when the South Tower fell, and that's when I lost my brother," he explained. "That's when I turned to my mother-in-law and said, 'Nancy I think I lost my brother,' 19 years ago."
"I'll never forget that day because we didn't know how Steven got there at that point but we knew he would find a way, like so many of our first responders did that day and so many people did -- so many acts of heroism on that day," Siller said.
Vice President Mike Pence is expected at both New York City remembrances.
Siller said he is very proud the vice president is joining his event, noting that he contacted them as soon as they announced it.
"Today is a significant day," Siller said. "We always must remember and I'll tell you what, the ones who are joining the service today, they are as great as the ones who served 19 years ago."