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Tunnel to Towers pays off mortgage of fallen Connecticut state police sergeant

Tunnel to Towers honored the sacrifice and service of Connecticut State Police Sergeant Brian Mohl.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Tunnel to Towers is honoring a fallen Connecticut Police Sergeant on the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by paying off his house mortgage.

Tunnel to Towers honored the sacrifice and service of Connecticut State Police Sergeant Brian Mohl, who was killed on September 2, 2021, while he was working the midnight shift during Hurricane Ida when his car patrol was swept away. 

Sergeant Mohl joined the Connecticut State Police in November of 1994 and served there for 26 years. He was one of the first in his graduating class to rise to the rank of Sergeant.

RELATED: 21 years later | FOX61 journalists remember Sept. 11, 2001

"We now, as these tragedies unfold have such close relationships with local police departments that we are reaching out to them. We always work with the liaison officer who is assigned to that family," said Larry Olson Senior vice president of marketing and communications at Tunnel to Towers. "We try to get to them as quickly as we can without being intrusive so that they know that we will be tacking care of their mortgage and that financial burden will be lifted from their shoulders."

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Tunnel to Towers is a New York-based foundation dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who lost his life saving others on September 11, 2001. For over 20 years, the Foundation has supported first responders, veterans, and their families by providing the heroes and families they leave behind with mortgage-free homes.

The foundation pays off house mortgages because generally, that is the largest financial burden for families, according to Olsen. 

RELATED: 'My dad was a New York City fireman' | Daughter remembers lives lost in CT 9/11 memorial ceremony

"By lifting that the family can heal faster, they don't have to move, people don't have to go back to work necessarily. So, it provides that sort of infrastructure that the family can move forward," Olson said. 

Tunnel to Towers started in the first responder community and then moved to gold star and now they are expanding to veteran homelessness, according to Olsen.

"We want to make sure that these heroes are taken care of and their families are provided for," Olsen said. "These are heroes and their families are heroes as well. They sacrifice when their family members go out to serve us and protect us. It is important that they be thought of in their level of service as well."

Olsen said it is gratifying to speak to a family directly. There is surprise, gratitude and a lot of emotion wrapped up to it. 

"His family is now a part of our family," Olsen said. 

Tunnel to Towers aims to pay off 200 mortgages this year.

Recently, Tunnel to Towers also launched a 9/11 institute that provides a curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12. The institute includes videos, testimonials, and educational components so people never forget and also so children can learn and develop an understanding of how and when that occurred, according to Olsen. 

Olsen said they hope one day it becomes part of a curriculum requirement, which it currently is not. 

"Our goal is that every state require a component of 9/11 education as a curriculum," Olsen said. 

The curriculum is written for different age groups as well as for parents. 

Jareliz Diaz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jdiaz@fox61.com

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