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West Webster Firefighters Memorial

Updated: Tuesday, December 24 2013, 06:24 AM EST

Webster, N.Y. - As we approach one year since the Christmas Eve ambush on West Webster firefighters, their department unveiled a new memorial Sunday morning. Behind the fire station, the memorial was dedicated to Tomasz Kaczowka and Mike Chiapperini— and two other West Webster firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

“I try to remember the good times you know what we did over the year-quite frankly, that's how I get through it,” said Al Sienkiewicz, West Webster public information officer.

Gunned down in an ambush on Lake Road in Webster on Christmas Eve, memorials for Kaczowka and Chiapperini have been held on both the state and national level. At home in Webster, Sienkiewicz said each memorial brings the department back to that tragic morning on Christmas Eve.

“Nobody really wants to talk about it much; we're here because we want to recognize our brothers,” said Sienkiewicz.

The memorial opened to the public after a private dedication for families and firefighters.

“They’re the heroes of our life,” said Larry Crawford, “it’s good to see that they’re being remembered this way, they’ll never be forgotten.”

Crawford said he remembers that tragic day like it was yesterday. “I woke up that morning and Lake Road was closed off at my driveway. All we knew what that there was sniper in the area.” 

Kaczowka and Chiapperini died protecting the community they loved. Crawford said, “It sits in everybody's hearts and we just want to be here to share it with everyone.”

Sienkiewicz said he hopes the memorial is a place where the families can find comfort and firefighters can be inspired the bravery shown by their fallen brothers.

“Every Christmas is going to be different from this point,” Sienkiewicz said, “No matter how far we move away from this we're always going to go back to 2012 and what happened on that morning.” 

West Webster Firefighters Memorial


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