Thousands Attend Memorial Service for Victims of West Explosion


Thousands turned out Thursday at Baylor's Ferrell Center in Waco to remember the 15 people killed in the horrific fertllizer plant explosion in West last week. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were just some of those who attended the memorial service.

A solemn procession to an emotional memorial service. Hundreds of firefighters, EMTs and other first responders from across Texas and around the country made their way toward Baylor's Ferrell Center.

First, a parade of fire trucks and ambulances as people watched for more than an hour.

They were here to say goodbye to those who lost their lives when a fertilizer plant caught fire and then exploded in the small town of West on April 17.

Battalion Chief Kenneth Erben and 10 of his firefighters from the Corpus Christi Fire Department drove up to be part of the honor guard.

Erben said, "We're all alike. And we all know the inherent dangers of the job when we start, and you feel like it's honoring your brother and you have to be there for your family."

Bryan Firefighter D.J. Capener was in charge of organizing the honor guard, and knows all too well the outpouring of emotion after a similar ceremony for two Bryan firefighters who died in the line of duty two months ago.

"We had a huge outpouring, so 6 times the loss that this community has seen, so no surprises here with everyone who showed up", Capener told News 3.

As part of the honor guard, firefighters from West and Abbott and Dallas carried the helmets of those who lost their lives.

Inside the Ferrell Center, a tribute from Governor Perry, and President Obama.

The President told some 10,000 people in attendance, "And no words adequately describe the courage that was displayed on that deadly night. What I can do is offer the love and support and prayers of the nationa."

It is a time and place and tragedy that will take a long to time to heal for those who lost loved ones, and those who survived.


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