Former Yakima Fire Captain Burton honored at annual memorial ser - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Former Yakima Fire Captain Burton honored at annual memorial service

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YAKIMA, WA - On Sunday, hundreds of firefighters, their family, and total strangers gathered at the state capitol for the annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.

This year's service included honoring a retired Yakima Fire Captain, Robert "Bob" Burton, who died back in December due to complications from job-related cancer.

On Friday afternoon, riders from Washington's IAFF (International Association of Firefighters) 7th District Motorcycle Team rode up to Station #91 in downtown Yakima for the memorial ribbon ceremony for Captain Burton.

Captain Burton's ribbon had been on display for the last few weeks in the living area at Station #91.

Moments after 7th District motorcycle riders stopped, three Yakima firefighters inside the station began removing Captain Burton's ribbon. The group then slowly walked the ribbon outside to meet the group of riders. Captain Burton's ribbon was then placed inside a bright red container with the ribbons of other firefighters who died in 2017 that were honored at Sunday's memorial service.

The ribbon ride, which has been going on for about eight years, is done by firefighters from around the state who describe the solemn experience as bittersweet.

"We enjoy getting out and riding our bikes but we don't enjoy that we're losing our brothers and sisters," said Jason Gwilt, Washington State Coordinator for the IAFF Motorcycle Group. "Unfortunately, most of the line of duty deaths we're seeing right now are cancer related."

Captain Burton's memorial ribbon traveled to Olympia. His son, Yakima Fire Lieutenant Cody Burton, placed the ribbon at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Three other firefighters were also honored during the Sunday service that started at 1:00 p.m.

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