Firefighters Day at the Erie County Fair

August 12, 2011 Updated Aug 12, 2011 at 11:35 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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August 12, 2011 Updated Aug 12, 2011 at 11:35 PM EDT

Hamburg (WKBW) Friday was another beautiful day at the Erie County Fair. But it was also a day with a higher purpose; to honor all firefighters and all they do for their communities on a day to day basis.

A parade in front of the main grandstand at the Hamburg Fairgrounds was the centerpiece of "Firefighters Day" at the fair.

Fairgoers agreed on the importance of a day to honor firefighters.

"It's really important to remember the men and women who dedicate their lives to serve their community and pay it forward," Kieth Ware said.

"You've got to give tribute to gentleman that supports you throughout the year. So it's only right you do this," Ronald Geisendorfer said.

Dozens of Western New York fire companies marched under a 60 foot flag, part of a traveling tribute to September 11th.

And as hundreds looked on, the support was not lost among those marching.

"It's great. To see the amount of support for us as volunteers and professional firefighters across the nation, and know that our community is behind us is a very important thing," Chief John Makin of the Big Tree Fire Company said.

One firefighter took the opportunity to break from his group, and propose to his longtime girlfriend.

"It's a good day to celebrate. We should honor these men and women more often, because they still risk their lives for us every day of the year" Mary Ann Antkowiak said.

"It means a lot to us. Our guys put a lot of hard work into everything they do every year, and it gives us a chance to show off to our community and let them know what we do," Chief Makin added.