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'This Is A Brotherhood:' First Responders Gather To Pay Respects To The Fallen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - On Sunday, a group of first responders gathered to pay tribute to the fallen.

They said the event had been pushed back because of the pandemic, but it's never too late to pay respects.

"Today, we come out here to honor all firemen of Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania," said veteran first responder John Gombita. "Those who have died in the line of duty, the veterans who have retired, and the guys still on duty today."

At the Western Pennsylvania Firefighters Memorial, a small group bared flags and laid wreaths to honor their own.

Gombita says there's never a timetable on respect.

"This is a brotherhood, if we don't come out here and honor those who come before us and those who are still serving, nobody else is going to do it," he said.

When Gombita was active, he said every day was about giving your all but it's more than that.

"It's not just being the firehouse together," he said. "When you face danger on a continual basis together with men and you witness their bravery, you can't let them down. You have to be on that team and you have to be 100%, whatever may come."

He knows that was portrayed by those they remember.

Gombita says currently they are in the works to get a permanent memorial at Union Hall.

He said being a first responder is all about serving the public and putting yourself last.

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