Philly Connection honors first responders and military with lunch

The Philly Connection issued this advertisement for the day. / Philly Connection

One local 9/11 survivor is taking his experience and turning it into a mission to thank the real heroes of our country.

Sibelius Merchant is the Vice President of Philly Connection, a northern-style food joint, in three locations.

Merchant says he was on the 49th floor of one of the towers when the plane hit and says as he was running downstairs, firemen were running up.

Merchant said he thought hard about how he could thank the men and women who run towards danger while most run away and came up with a plan.

Every year, starting on September 11th, Merchant travels to his three locations and offers free meals to all emergency personnel.

He says he cannot thank those who serve our country and keep our citizens safe enough, but this is a small way to continue his mission of saying thank you.