9/11 organization works to pay off mortgage for slain Ala. officer’s family

Officer William Buechner
Officer William Buechner
Updated: Jun. 11, 2019 at 3:04 PM CDT
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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Nearly a month has passed since veteran Auburn Police Officer William Buechner was killed in the line of duty. A community has grieved, and it has shown solidarity with Buechner’s family.

Now, the community has another opportunity to show their support to the officer’s widow, Sara; daughter, McKenna; and son, Henry.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation wants to pay off the mortgage on the Buechner family home. The Foundation is named in memory of FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller, killed during the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Donations can be made at Tunnel2Towers.org. While the exact amount for the mortgage is not listed, the organization says 100 percent of the donations will go directly toward the payoff.

Sara Buechner called it “an unbelievable relief to have the burden of a mortgage lifted from my shoulders,” the organization said.

“He would be happy to know that his wife and children are being taken care of in such a way,” the organization quoted Auburn Police Chief Paul Register as saying. “This unexpected gift will make a tragic situation a bit more bearable for the Buechners and is a symbol to all First Responders of how much people care.”

The Tunnel To Towers Foundation has, since 2015, worked to make sure first responder families with young children can stay in their homes despite tragedy. It’s helped pay off mortgages “from Georgia to Illinois to New York to California,” and has spent more than $125 million to honor and support first responders, veterans and their families.

“We can’t change what has been done, but we can make it better by coming together as Americans to lift up this family and show them that they have our support,” said Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of Tunnel to Towers.

A GoFundMe account was set up for the Buechner family in the days since his death. To date, it has raised nearly $80,000.

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