EMOTIONS ran free at a special event in Ulladulla on Friday just gone.
Voices cracked and tears flowed as plaques on Ulladulla's Frontline Services Memorial obelisk were officially unveiled.
The first two plaques on the obelisk, located on the Ulladulla Civic Centre grounds, are for fixed-wing pilot David Black and helicopter pilot Allan Tull.
Allan "Tully" Tull lost his life while fighting the Kingiman Fires in Milton in 2018.
Pilot David Black died in a plane crash in October 2013 when fighting fires in Budawang National Park, west of Ulladulla.
Mr Tull's family including fiancée Sheila Ryken and son Joseph Tull could not attend but watched the emotional service online.
However, they hope one day to come and see and touch the memorial dedicated to their loved one.
Julie Black attended the event with two of her three children, Sophie and Adelaide, along with David's parents Andrew and Sarah. Son Oliver was able to attend the event.
Superhuman is how Julie Black described her late husband David.
She remembers David as being a wonderful father, husband and pilot.
"He loved the camaraderie with the other people in the aviation sector and loved the sense of just getting out there and helping while being able to apply his skill set to saving or helping people with their homes, farms and keeping roads open. He loved it," she said.
Without the dedication and determination of Burrill Lake resident Sandy Lanham, there would be no memorial.
Julie is so thankful to Sandy for her tireless efforts in getting the memorial project established.
She is glad that both men will be forever remembered in the Shoalhaven community.
"It's wonderful knowing this community will remember David and Allan. They were here on the frontline battling two separate fires years apart," Julie said.
"Thank you very much to Sandy.
"Knowing that there is somewhere for my children to come back to and have that connection with the community where they lost their father is wonderful."
Sandy thought if the two tragedies were so emotional for her then she knew how devastating it must be for the families.
"They have to live with it forever - they lost a loved one forever," Sandy said.
"I thought that it was really important that these gentlemen will never be forgotten and that we have something in our community to say thank-you to these two men and others who have died."
She added it was an important thing to do for the families of Allan and David.
She wanted the families to know the community had acknowledged the sacrifice they made.
Sandy faced many challenges along the way - the first one being trying to create something that had never been done before.
However, the memorial project would now have moved forward without the support from the families.
"The first step before I did anything was to contact the families to make sure they were onboard. You would not do something like this without the family's permission," Sandy said.
Sandy said funding was also needed for such a project and would like to thank everyone who made both big and small donations.
The plan is to have more names put on the memorial in the future.
The obelisk is not just for the Rural Fire Service - which is why Sandy said it was described as a front-line memorial that takes in the likes of police, ambulance, SES, NSW Fire Service and surf lifesaving personnel.
Mayor of Shoalhaven City Amanda Findley and Federal Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips, along with various other guests including RFS representatives and councillors from Shoalhaven City Council attended the event.
Cr Findley described the event as an emotional one held in front of a beautiful memorial.
"We are thankful for the service they gave," Mayor Findley said.
Mrs Phillips said it was important the community had a place to reflect upon the efforts made by the likes of Allan Tull and David Black .
The Federal Member was happy to help get what was vital funding for the project.