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Remembering Iowa's Firefighters

CORALVILLE, IA (CBS2/FOX28)-The 20th annual memorial service for Iowa firefighters was held today in Coralville to remember all who have served.

Many families gathered at the Iowa Firefighters Memorial to honor their loved ones.

"For me personally, this is paying honor to all the people who have come before me to volunteer their lives for others who they had no idea who they were," Vice President of the Iowa Firefighter Association Marv Trimble said.

He has volunteered for 32 years.

These walls are more than just names but also faces to look up to.

"This is for the families," he added. He said that many families traveled from western Iowa and out of state to be here.

Deb Johnson, who lost her husband said the second memorial isn't any different.

"Seeing his name on there is as hard as it was a year ago," she said.

Johnson said that there is no bond like that between firemen.

"Everyone says he would give a shirt off his back even though he always didn't have a shirt on."

"Everybody sticks together," Mark Gerlach added. He is a volunteer firefighter and lost his dad a couple years ago from cancer.

"It's a tough situation."

But he said that volunteering for the fire department was because of his dad.

"When your alarm clock goes off at 4 AM in the morning you never know what you'll get yourself into."

A dedication that started with his dad and then was handed down to these men.

"He was a hero," Gerlach said.

Rod Seyfert is also a volunteer firefighter because of Gerlach's dad.

"He's an inspiration to us," Seyfert said.

Heros whose names have been dedicated at the memorial since 1994

Men that are never forgotten but will always be looking over their families.

"It doesn't get easier," Johnson said.

There are more than 2,000 names on the walls honoring those who died in the line of duty and those who have served or are still serving in Iowa.

Next year's Memorial Service is already planned for June 14th.

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