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Dedication for fallen West Webster firefighters
Webster, N.Y. - Hundreds looked on as Tomasz Kaczowkas mother and father unveiled the portrait of Saint Florian the patron saint of firefighters. The image is a replica of the stained glass window that will be installed at the St. Stanislaus Churcha tribute to their 19-year-old son, a West Webster firefighter who was killed in the line of duty.
The beautiful stained glass window will remind all who went to this church of Tomasz life and his service to othersnot only today, but in the years to come, said Dariusz Kaczowka.
Tomasz brother gave the closing remarks at the mass. On behalf of the Kaczowka family Id like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of you, not only for todays beautiful liturgy but for the many kindnesses so many people have extended to us over the past year.
Kaczowka and 42-year-old Michael Chiapperini were ambushed, gunned down responding to a fire on Christmas Eve.
Its been a tough year for everybody, especially the families, said Webster Fire District Commissioner, Tom Link.
Link said its been a busy year for the department, attending many memorials for their fallen brothers. The recognition that the fallen have seen is truly an honor, Link said, certainly it helps the families and the recognition that they receive for their huge loss.
Of the many tributes and memorials, this one had a special significance to the Kaczowka family. Dariusz said, This the church in which my brother was baptized, received Holy Communion, was an alter server and grew in faith.
As the one year anniversary of the tragedy approaches Link said the department and their families are looking to find closure. Were truly looking forward to moving on allowing the families to have their privacy backGet them out of the spot light, let them move on and try to move forward with the whole healing process.
The West Webster Fire Department plans to hold two memorials leading up to the anniversary, then, Link said, theyll try to turn the page on this chapter of their lives and move on with their fallen brothers forever in their hearts.
Largely we depend on each other, Link said, the brothers and sisters in the fire department, we all lean on each other and support one another any way we can.