A sad chapter in our region's history has ended but the sacrifice of Morven firefighter Samuel McPaul will never be forgotten.
The other two men were also honoured at the RFS ceremony, along with Captain Stuart Anderson and firefighter Andrew Julian, of the Back Creek-Greater Hume Brigade, and Deputy Group Captain Ian Avage, of the Splitters Creek Brigade.
Mr Godde told The Border Mail the presentation "brought it all back again" but he felt he owed it to Mr McPaul to attend.
"It's good to remember those who were killed and the boys who were badly burnt on those trucks," he said.
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"The scars are still there physically and mentally, but we're all trying to get on with our lives as best we can.
"We all discussed it today and it's almost like we've closed that door behind us and we're all trying to move forward and it's a pretty important milestone in that regard."
The RFS annual commendations for exceptional service and bravery are usually held on May 4, deliberately.
That way, the occasion coincides with the feast day of St Florian, patron saint of firefighters and International Firefighters' Day.
Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said the community was enormously grateful to the men and women who responded to emergencies at all hours.
"We pay tribute to those brave members and their dedication to protect the irreplaceable," he said.
No one who lived through the ferocious Black Summer fires was left unaffected by the experience.
Those on the front line, our firefighters, did all they could to save life and property during those tense weeks.
While it's unrealistic to think such memories will disappear, we all hope the trauma they bring can lessen with time.
That those most affected can find some degree of closure.
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