A week and half has passed in the tragic Christmas Eve ambush that killed West Webster firefighters Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczokska, and wounded Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino.
The effort to honor these firemen with the Presidential Medal of Freedom is one step closer to reality.
The Bay Side is just down the road from where the first responders were shot.
It is a meeting place for neighbors, firefighters, and other locals.
"It really hits home not just because you know them but it's so close to us," said Robert Buono, owner of Bay Side.
For days now, the fire has been on the minds of many.
"They all put their lives on the line and walked into something terribly unexpected and I think they need to be acknowledged at the highest levels," said Patti Coffaro, used to babysit Mike Chiapperini as a kid.
Many who work and dine here have already signed the online petitions to give the west webster firefighter and greece cop the Medal of Freedom.
"They are great guys. It's a shame about what happened but it's great Webster is so united and it would be great if this could get done for them," said Anthony Chatt, who works at Bay Side.
"I think it's going to mean to them that the community and the world respect them," said Donna Taylor, who works at Bay Side.
As of Friday more than 25,000 people signed the petition for the four firefighters.
The deadline is January 27. You can sign it here.
And there are several thousand signatures in for Greece Police Officer John Ritter who was off-duty and rushed to the scene to help.
The deadline for that petition is February 1.
To this community, the honor would mean so much.
"At least its a bit of a legacy it's what they need I think," said Buono.
Inside the West Webster Fire Department, a memorial still stands to their fallen brothers.
With or without the national honor - this department knows those who put their lives on the line will forver be heroes.
"It's another example of how the community has come behind us and we sincerely appreciate it," said Al Sienkiewisz, spokesperson for the West Webster Fire Department.
The petitions can still receive signatures.
It's unknown when a response will follow.
The White House says it reviews the petitions with a committee that includes representatives from all major policy officers. The group then decides who responds to a specific petition.
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks also sent the White House her letter of support:
The Honorable President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As Monroe County Executive, I would like to take this opportunity to request that you consider awarding the distinguished Presidential Medal of Freedom to Firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka, Firefighter Michael Chiapperini, Firefighter Joseph Hofstetter, Firefighter Theodore Scardino, and Police Officer John Ritter, all of whom were sadly ambushed in Monroe County's town of Webster, New York on Christmas Eve.
As you are aware, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is our nation's highest civilian honor. It is reserved for special recognition of an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Before dawn on that Christmas Eve morning, five public servants left the safety and comfort of their own homes to protect and serve their neighbors. Only a few minutes later, two were lost, three were injured, and their families and our community were changed forever. Through their heroic actions, these men selflessly made the sacrifice demanded of all first responders - they rushed directly towards danger in order to keep our homes and our families safe. Their legacy of bravery and dedication, carried on proudly by their fellow first responders that sad day, have offered hope and solace to all Americans. It is my opinion that their actions under the most difficult of circumstances merit serious consideration for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
As of this writing, at least one petition to present Misters Kaczowka, Chiapperini, Hofstetter, Scardino, and Ritter with this high honor has surpassed 25,000 signatures, the threshold required to receive a response from your Administration. It is in a spirit of caring and reverence for these men and their families that I humbly add my support, and further request that you discharge the powers of your office to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to five of Monroe County's finest citizens.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this request, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Monroe County Executive