In Hendersonville, 2020 began on a somber note following the tragic loss of Hendersonville Police MPO Spencer Bristol. Since his passing, the entire Hendersonville community has been united in grief over the fallen officer.
However, despite the aire of sadness, there have been many outpourings of love and support evident throughout the city. From fundraisers and memorial tributes to a crowded celebration of life service, the city has come together in support of the Bristol family.
Although most help and encouragement has been local, one of the biggest shows of support has come from an organization based in New York, the “Tunnel to Towers” Foundation. In a program held at the Hendersonville Police Department on Jan. 8, foundation Chairman/CEO Frank Siller announced that Tunnel to Towers would pay off Officer Bristol’s mortgage, ensuring that his wife Lauren and their 3-year-old daughter Eloise would be able to stay in their home, debt-free.
Tunnel to Towers was founded in honor of fallen firefighter Stephen Siller, who lost his life helping others in New York during the World Trade Center attacks on Sep. 11, 2001. Since its creation, the foundation has raised more than $125 million in support of injured and fallen service members and first responders, including paying off the mortgages on more than 40 homes.
The program featured remarks by several dignitaries, with Berry Hill Chief of Police Tim Coleman serving as the emcee. Additional speakers included Hendersonville Mayor Jamie Clary, Hendersonville Chief of Police Mickey Miller and U.S. Navy Commander Tanner Acker. After the prepared remarks, Lauren Bristol, wife of fallen officer Spencer Bristol, addressed the gathering.
“After the shock of what happened, all that I thought about was how am I going to take care of Eloise,” said Bristol. “However, so many people have reached out to help us I just want to thank the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and everyone in Hendersonville for caring for our family.”
At the conclusion of the program, country music superstar Lee Greenwood performed his patriotic classic hit, “God Bless the U.S.A.”