Final public memorial held at St. Patrick's church

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - One week to the day after the deaths of two Toledo firefighters, a final public memorial was held at Historic St. Patrick's Catholic Church.

Private James Dickman's widow and her family were surrounded by his firefighting family at a special mass to honor the fallen firefighters.

She was comforted by their presence and wore his jacket on her shoulders.

The now familiar sound of bagpipes and drums filled this space where so many that they didn't even know gathered to reflect and remember James Dickman and Steven Machcinski and all of the events of the past week.

"It's just sad that they died. We all feel terrible about it. Especially now that they know it's arson," said Sandra Humanski.

Two days after Ray Abou-Arab was charged with murder and arson for setting the fire, Msgr. Chris Vasko says anger is setting in at something that is unthinkable and intolerable but anger cannot be the focus.

"Anger like that can distract us from the higher call of those who fight fire," said Father Vasko.

After all the memorial of the past week, it's been said Monday will come.

"The friends are gone, the visitors are gone, the ceremonies are gone. We're no longer delivering food, and all of the sudden, there's this huge chasm of loneliness that hits the families," said Father Vasko.

Still although Monday will come and many Mondays after that, the community is prepared to keep watch over these families.

"We're one big family and that's something we've expressed to Steve and Jamie's family. Is that when Monday morning does come, we're still here for you guys and you can lean on us, you can call us. Anything you will ever need," said Private Kyle Wiley, the TFD Station 13 Honor Guard.

Firefighters at the event say they will stick together.

"The fire calls don't stop, so we have to just stay together as a brotherhood and a sisterhood as it's been called," said Deputy Chief Mike Ramm of the Sylvania Township Fire Dept.

When Monday comes, they'll get on with their jobs, but they will never forget.

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