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Shutdown upends plans to honor West Webster firefighters

Webster, N.Y. The government shutdown has stripped away a crucial component of a national ceremony to honor fallen firefighters, including the two West Webster firefighters killed in last years Christmas Eve ambush.

The ceremony was supposed to take place at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Maryland this weekend, but because the memorial is federal, its now closed forcing the ceremony off site.

Its shocking to know that it is affected by the government shutdown, said Ken Smith, president of the West Webster Firemens Association.

Smith says a large local contingent had plans to travel to Maryland this weekend to see unveiling of a plaque on which Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowkas names are engraved.

I think its going to be a big disappointment if we cant get there, Smith said.

Despite the memorials closure, Smith says they will still attend the ceremony.

He says even if the shutdown ends, that ceremony will remain outside the memorial because the plans would be too hard to change.

The ceremony, after all, is honoring not just the Chiapperini and Kaczowka, but all 81 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2012.

Adam Chodak, 13WHAM-TV
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