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At State Capitol, Lawmakers Memorialize Those Who Died In West Fertilizer Explosion

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio

The senator representing the town of West shared his first-hand account of the damages related to the fertilizer plant explosion and memorializes those who died during the fire.

Before excusing himself to join President Obama and Gov. Rick Perry at a memorial service in Waco,Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Grandbury, asked fellow lawmakers for their prayers and approval for a senate resolution memorializing the victims of the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West.

"Today Representative Kacal (Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-Bryan) and I are jointly flying flags over the state capitol so at a moment later on in the calendar month we will have an opportunity to present those flags on behalf of both bodies of the legislature to those families," Birdwell said.

Birdwell compared the destruction in West to what he had witnessed while serving in the Army while on two tours in Iraq.

"It reminded me of three different occasions in the ravages of war of what I had seen," Birdwell said. "I was certainly amazed at the outpouring of care, cooperation, support and resilience of a small little Texas town that lost everything or just about everything they had owned and yet they spent the time helping and comforting each other."

Birdwell and Rep. Kacal were the first two members of the Texas Capitol that traveled to West following the two massive explosions at the local fertilizer plant that left 14 dead and hundreds with injuries.