HOUSTON (CBS Houston) As many as 40,000 individuals including law and emergency personnel from around the state of Texas as well as the general public, packed Reliant Stadium on Wednesday to honor the courageous and heroic efforts of four members of the Houston Fire Department who lost their lives battling a five-alarm blaze last week.

Officials who attended Wednesday’s memorial service included Texas Governor Rick Perry, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and U.S. Representative Shelia Jackson Lee. A host of other dignitaries was in attendance as well.

Each of the fallen firefighters were remembered for their tenacity, courage, dedication and devotion to firefighting.

“To the families that are here, we cannot fully know your grief. You have paid an unimaginable price,”Mayor Parker said during Wednesday’s service. “It’s always too soon to say goodbye to a fallen hero. It breaks our hearts to say goodbye to four,” Mayor Parker added.

May 31, 2013 marked the deadliest day for the Houston Fire Department after Capt. Matthew Renaud, Robert Bebee, Robert Garner and Anne Sullivan were killed after battling a blaze at the Southwestern Inn located on the Southwest Freeway.

“Your loved ones gave other people at chance at life. We are blessed to live in a world with dedication like that,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry told the families of the fallen firefighters.

Family members of the fallen spoke of the love, vibrant personalities and devotion each of the fallen firefighters had for life as well as the Houston Fire Department.

Each of the four families was also presented with a flag in remembrance of their fallen loved one.

Click here to view pictures from Wednesday’s memorial service.


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