AUSTIN -- Fallen and seriously injured first responders in Texas were honored Thursday morning.
Governor Rick Perry presented their families with the Star of Texas Award. The ceremony on Thursday at the Shoreline Church in North Austin turned emotional. Governor Perry called the men and women being honored heroes and true Texans.
One by one their families walked across the stage. They shook hands and hugged Gov. Perry as he handed them the award.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the legislation that created the Star of Texas recognition. It goes to peace officers, firefighters and EMTs who died or suffered injuries in the line of duty.
Among this year's recipients the state honored the Kaufman County District Attorney, the first responders of the West fertilizer plant explosion, the firefighters in Houston who died battling a five-alarm hotel blaze, and several Austin police officers who were injured protecting our community.
“This calling, this noble service carries with it a great element of danger. They understand that placing yourself in harm's way will sometimes carry a huge cost,” said Governor Perry.
Over the past 10 years, the state has recognized 363 first responders. On Thursday it honored 68 more.