President Obama Attended Memorial CeremonyLast updated on: April 25, 2013
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On Thursday, April 25th, 2013, President Barack and Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended a memorial service for the 12 first responders who tragically lost their lives during the blast that occurred in West, Texas last week. The event was hosted at Baylor University in the neighboring city of Waco. 14 people lost their lives in the fertilizer plant explosion last week, 12 of whom were first responders. More than 200 people suffered injuries and 142 homes were destroyed. Rick Perry, among the attendees, spoke to the crowd and stated, “First-responders know better than anyone there’s no such thing as a routine emergency. The firefighters and medical technicians who died last week in West certainly knew that, but it didn’t slow them down.” Chief Ernest Mitchell, the United States Fire Administrator, called out the names of all 12 men and praised them for making “the ultimate sacrifice while keeping others safe.” In an act of solidarity and support, city workers from Waco plan to labor in lieu of West workers on Thursday so they can attend funerals and take a break from the exhaustive task of cleaning and repairing the city. Firefighters from nearby Waxahachie, Red Oak, and Cedar Hill are ready to respond while the West firefighters attend the service. Firefighters from all over the state attended the memorial. “Pride, brotherhood and loyalty drove us to be here,” declared a firefighter from Fort Worth. “Firefighters are committed to one another in good times and in bad.” On Wednesday, April 24th, another memorial service was held at the site of the explosion. Meanwhile, not too far away, hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of Kenneth “Lucky” Harris Jr., a 52-year-old firefighter who died in action. This was the first funeral to be held for a fallen first responder.
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