Last week will live in many Toledoans’ memories for a long time. The horrific deaths of firefighters James Dickman and Stephen Machcinski, as they gave their lives to bring a raging fire under control in North Toledo, were a tragedy.
However, the celebration of their lives, careers, and families and friends that followed was a Norman Rockwell picture of a Toledo and Toledo area filled with love, compassion, and dignity unseen in my lifetime in this city. Every opportunity was taken to the fullest by public safety units, government officials, religious leaders, the media, and most important, people to honor, cherish, and uplift these men and those people they loved and served next to.
Anyone who questions the value of our Toledo community should think back to this past week and recall not only the heroism of our firefighters, but also the heart and soul of the citizens of our community. As we said thank you and good-bye to these honorable men, we Toledoans stood tall and honorably as well.
Editor’s note: The writer is a former mayor of Toledo.
Communications workers thankful
On behalf of Toledo-area Verizon Wireless employees, I express condolences to the families of Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman and to all members of the Toledo Fire Department. These men showed our Toledo community, along with the entire country, what it means to be a hero.
The Jan. 26 tragedy reminds us of the strong dedication embodied by each firefighter in Toledo. As we remember our two local heroes, we give thanks to our Toledo Fire Department, which carries out its life-saving mission 365 days a year.
We will never forget the courage Privates Machcinski and Dickman displayed. Their bravery will live on in the Toledo community.
Where were Latta and Portman?
Toledo’s tribute to its fallen firefighters at the SeaGate Convention Centre was standing room only, as it should have been. I joined the tens of thousands from the area who watched the moving ceremony on local TV. It was a fitting tribute to the men who were lost in the line of their chosen duty.
As I would expect, elected representatives of Toledo were there to honor those men, and to represent the citizens of their communities who could not attend. They included U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio).
U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) was too busy someplace else to pay his respects to those heroes and to this community. The same was true of Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio).
Shame on them. I will remember this.
Oak Grove Place
Coverage helped community grieve
I thank The Blade for the coverage of the deaths, memorials, and funerals of the two Toledo firefighters.
Capturing poignant images, The Blade’s photographers in particular have helped the community collectively grieve as the heroes were laid to rest.