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Honoring The Fallen West Webster Firefighters

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

(WXXI News & AP)   Eighty-one names are being added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md. They include West Webster firefighters Michael Chiapperini and TomaszKaczowka, who were ambushed and shot to death while responding to a call on Christmas Eve. A number of West Webster firefighters and their families went to the service.

The annual ceremony Sunday morning honors 73 who died in the line of duty in 2012, plus eight more from previous years.

Because of the federal government shutdown, the event is at PNC Sports Arena on the Mount St. Mary’s University campus. It is normally held at the nearby National Emergency Training Center.

Despite the federal shutdown, families were to be allowed to visit the white stone monument on Saturday. There was also a candlelight vigil on Saturday.

The foundation was created by Congress in 1992 to honor firefighters who died in the line of duty and provide grief counseling to their families.

Each firefighter also has a web page with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. You can visit the pages of Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.