To recognize and honor the heroism of our heroes on the font lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation partnered with America’s Artist Scott LoBaido to create “Sunrise: A Tribute to First Responders.”
Utilizing a vast array of colors and shades, “Sunrise” depicts the heroes of this pandemic – a firefighter, police officer, member of the military, health care worker and an EMT – raising a weathered American flag at sunrise, as the bottom of the flagpole strikes a coronavirus motif.
LoBaido says the use of different hues was deliberate. The light cast by the subtle green sunrise gradually transitions into turquoise, symbolizing the eventual defeat of the COVID-19 virus. The 5 ft. by 6 ft. masterpiece is influenced by the iconic images of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima during World War II, firefighters raising the flag at 9/11’s Ground Zero and the recent flyover salutes to today’s heroes, performed by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, which LoBaido incorporated as the final touch.
“I have always wanted to do a patriotic piece that was a national tribute to first responders, and with Tunnel to Towers, this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. Through my work I wanted to capture the spirit of hope, resilience, and commitment to duty of those brave men and women at the forefront of this battle,” Lobaido said. “My goal was to create the ideal piece to represent the war we are fighting today, while at the same time inspire and instill hope in all Americans that their courage and sacrifice, like the sacrifices made on frontlines throughout history, will get America through this crisis.”
Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, said, “the COVID-19 pandemic is a global fight against an invisible enemy. These heroes show up each day, doing everything they can to save as many lives as they can, while risking their own. Tunnel to Towers is honored to present this masterpiece as a way to immortalize their bravery at this pivotal, historic moment and to thank them for showing us you cannot conquer the American spirit.”
Prints, bearing the digital signature of LoBaido, will be available for a limited time, from May 10 through Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. You can receive a print for free by becoming a monthly donor between now and Memorial Day for as little as $11 per month, or by purchasing it for $100 at Marathon Sportswear.
The proceeds from these sales will support the Tunnel to Towers COVID-19 Heroes Fund. Established with an initial pledge of $3 million, the fund has grown to $5 million and counting, all in support of America’s heroes. To address the overwhelming need, the Foundation has set a goal of raising $10 million.
The Fund assists frontline first responders and health care workers by providing vital personal protective equipment, warm meals and financial relief through temporary mortgage payments to the families of those who lose their lives to COVID-19 and leave behind young children.
Since launching the COVID-19 Heroes Fund the Foundation has:
- Identified and is temporarily assuming the mortgage payments of 25 first responders and frontline health care workers throughout the country who have succumbed to COVID-19 and left behind young children
- Delivered over one million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gowns and face shields, to health care workers and first responders on the front lines where the equipment is most needed most, including New York City, Boston, Atlanta, and Chicago
- Increased the PPE distribution goal to over 3 million pieces delivered across the country
- Delivered over 100,000 meals to EMT’s, paramedics and other first responders
On May 1, Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO Frank Siller was invited to the White House to be honored by President Donald J. Trump for the Foundation’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tunnel to Towers’ work is not done. Your monthly donation or purchase of a print will help the Foundation assist even more grieving families with temporary mortgage payments, expand its distribution of PPE to COVID-19 hot spots around the country and continue to provide food to those battling on the front lines.