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Firefighters from all over the US show support at Mike Chiapperini's funeral

Posted at: 12/30/2012 6:43 PM
Updated at: 12/31/2012 12:00 AM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

The number of police officers and firefighters who came to Sunday's funeral was staggering.

It's safe to say thousands came out, from as far away as California.

News10NBC talked to some of those who traveled to Webster to show their support for a fallen hero.

Hundreds of firefighters, police officers and EMS from all over, came to pay their respects to Lt. Michael Chiapperini-- a man everyone calls a hero.

As Chiapperini's flag-draped casket was brought in on a West Webster fire truck, first responders stood at attention.

Captain David Smith, from the Toronto Fire Department said, "There are really no borders when it comes to firefighters, it's a brotherhood. They experienced a great loss to the community, to the department and sisters from Webster."

In California, firefighters say they heard the news and had to come.

Orange County Firefighter Brent Smith said, "It's just such a horrible tragedy to have anyone murdered like that in the line of duty, it's so terrible. We felt it very important to come out here and show our support and show that Orange County and the brothers on the West Coast are absolutely thinking of you guys out here."

The support was seen in every aspect of today's service, whether it was from a kiss given to Chiapperini's children or a 21-gun salute.

Smith said, "It's a true testament of the brotherhood. It shows that something as small as a job can bring people together. I think it's amazing that the brotherhood really works and it's not just something we preach. It's something we show by coming together in support of a family and a community that suffered a terrible loss."

On Sunday, that is what the brotherhood looked like. Side by side, these men and women paid tribute to a man who worked for the West Webster Fire Department for 25 years.

As the bells rang, they remembered his last call, where he paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The attendance wasn't the only outpouring of support, locally there have been a number of fundraisers for the family of the victims and the West Webster Fire Department.

The department also says they have received calls from all over the world from firefighters asking them if they need anything, and to let them know they are here to help.