West Texas Firefighters Honored at Memorial

President Barack Obama pledged unyielding support to help rebuild and reclaim the town of West (TX) at a memorial service for the 12 fallen first responders who died in last week’s fertilizer plant explosion, reports The Houston Chronicle.

“We may not all live here in Texas but we’re neighbors, too,” Obama said to a capacity crowd at Baylor University’s Ferrell Center. “We’re Americans, too. And we stand with you and we will not forget, and we’ll be there even after the cameras leave and after the attention turns elsewhere.”

First Lady Michelle Obama, Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. John Cornyn also joined the president in an emotional, nearly three-hour tribute to the explosion victims that brought together more than 9,000 people in the university arena that’s usually the site of sporting events and graduations.

“First responders know better than anyone, there’s no such thing as a routine emergency,” Perry said. “Firefighters and medical technicians who died last week in West certainly knew that, but it didn’t slow them down as they raced toward that burning factory.”

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