NEW YORK, July 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A beautiful Tuesday morning, an empty sky. By that afternoon, nothing would ever be the same.
Christopher Santora had only been a member of Engine 54, Ladder 4 for two months when he died tragically on September 11th. Though devastated by their loss, his parents Maureen and Al understood they couldn't change the past. They wanted to do something to benefit the future generations and help them remember the sacrifices of 9/11. In his memory, the Santoras established the Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund.
"When terrible things happen, you have a choice how to respond," says Maureen. "9/11 was an act of hatred. We wanted to counter that hatred by encouraging others to be generous and kind, more compassionate and tolerant. Our hope was to create something good out of this tragedy and our dream is that the scholarship can continue for a very long time."
Now, 14 years later, the Santoras have not only survived, they have thrived, devoting themselves to honoring Chris's memory. For over a decade, the Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund has awarded scholarships to New York City's elementary, middle school and high school students. Since its inception, the fund has awarded more than half a million dollars in scholarships.
And the Santoras' journey to honor their son continues. The fund has now shifted its focus to the children of firefighters who died after 9/11 as a result of the "The Pile" rescue and recovery effort following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
"We both felt that it was time to make the change," says Maureen. "These families have been devastated as well. We remember them, too. We want to let people know that we're doing this and there's a need here."
In addition to her work with the fund, Maureen serves as an advocate for families whose loved ones died because of the events of September 11th. She is the author of three books, including The Day the Towers Fell, a children's book written to help explain the tragic events of September 11th.
"Hatred is a terrible thing," says Maureen. "The Day the Towers Fell is a book that needs to be in schools. Compassion needs to be taught at an early age."
To make a donation to the Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund, visit http://christophersantora.com/site/donations/
Video - http://youtu.be/jEFWQ1iLXsg
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SOURCE CUTV News