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Charity founded to honor 9-11 hero aids family of fallen Finest

Brooklyn Daily
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The family of slain police detective Wenjian Liu finally had a reason to smile last week, thanks to a charitable organization’s kind act.

Representatives from the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation joined about 60 police officers and Liu’s family on Sept. 2. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the family’s renovated Gravesend home.

The charitable organization paid off the home’s mortgage for Liu’s widow, Pei Xia Chen, and raised $100,000 for the recently completed renovation. The foundation’s chairman and chief executive officer, Frank Siller, officers from the 79th and 84th Precincts, and parents Wei Tang Liu and Xiu Tan Li stood outside the home with Chen, who expressed gratitude for the help.

“My family is so touched for all the support that you have given our family,” said Chen.

Liu and his partner Det. Rafael Ramos were murdered in a targeted shooting by a deranged man as they sat in their police cruiser on a Bedford-Stuyvesant street on Dec. 20, 2014.

Ramos’s wife Maritza and son Jayden were also on hand at the Liu home for the ceremony. The foundation has paid off the mortgage on the Ramoses’ Cypress Hills home as well, and renovations there have already begun.

Stephen Siller, the foundation’s namesake, was a firefighter in Park Slope who died on Sept. 11, 2001, after rushing to the World Trade Center — on foot, carrying all his equipment — through the jammed Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.

Frank Siller said it made him feel good to help the wives of both officers because he sympathizes with their grief.

“The Siller family and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation know and understand what Pei Xia Chen and Maritza Ramos are going through, and that is why we could not be more gratified that the most basic of needs — housing — has been taken care of for these two wonderful families,” Siller said.

Reach reporter Eric Faynberg at (718) 260–2508 or by e-mail at efaynberg@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ericfaynberg.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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