On December 24th 2012 4 West Webster Firefighters responded to a call of a vehicle/house fire. As they arrived they were ambushed by a lone gunman. Lt. Mike Chiapperini and Firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka were killed on scene. Firefighters Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino both received life altering injuries which will require months of rehabilitation. These brave men were volunteers answered the call for assistance at 5:30 in the morning.
These brave men were ambushed by a coward. For their sacrifices, their willingness to help their fellow man they all should be honored with the Medal of Freedom.
Response to Petition
Thank you for adding your name to this petition about awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Michael Chiapperini, Tomasz Kaczowka, Joseph Hofstetter, and Theodore Scardino -- four firefighters who died tragically in the line of duty on Christmas Eve 2012.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established more than 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy through Executive Order 11085. The Presidential Medal of Freedom has been presented to more than 500 individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Each year, a new round of honorees are presented with the award. Recipients have ranged from world leaders like President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Mother Teresa, to pop culture and sports icons like Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, and Ernie Banks. President Obama has described Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients as having "lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture, and made our country and our world a better place."
You can learn more about the award's history and its past recipients at WhiteHouse.gov/Medal-of-Freedom.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded at the President's sole discretion, and therefore our response to this petition cannot comment on whether or not any individual will receive the award in the future.
We can, however, take this opportunity to recognize that these four firefighters -- Michael Chiapperini, Tomasz Kaczowka, Joseph Hofstetter, and Theodore Scardino -- have demonstrated many of the qualities of past Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and we are forever grateful for their service. The events that took place in West Webster, New York on that Christmas Eve in 2012 are unspeakable tragedies, and are a reminder of the profound sacrifice that our nation's firefighters make on a daily basis. Every day, these civil servants put their lives on the line to ensure the safety and security of Americans across the country. And for that, we are beyond thankful.
Follow @WeThePeople on Twitter all day long for a series of Q+As with various Administration officials on the petition responses we released today.