Respect ... Johanna Hauritz wears a t-shirt in tribute to those who helped to fight the fires in January 2003.

Respect ... Johanna Hauritz wears a t-shirt in tribute to those who helped to fight the fires in January 2003. Photo: Rohan Thomson

It was a T-shirt with a simple and heartfelt message. It made its first appearance not long after the January 18 firestorm in 2003. And on Friday - the 10th anniversary - Johanna Hauritz thought it was the ''perfect day'' to bring it back out of the wardrobe.

The front of the T-shirt featured that fateful date 18.1.03 and, on the back, were the words ''For those who tried … thank you''. It was a message to all the emergency services workers who had toiled against the fires.

The rented home of her mother Pat Leifsson, in Somerset Street, Duffy, was destroyed in the fires. Ms Hauritz, 30, of Kambah, wore the T-shirt at Friday's commemoration service at the ACT Bushfire Memorial.

Respect ... Johanna Hauritz wears a t-shirt in tribute to those who helped to fight the fires in January 2003.

Respect ... Johanna Hauritz wears a t-shirt in tribute to those who helped to fight the fires in January 2003. Photo: Rohan Thomson

''We got the T-shirts at a charity event held about a month or so after the fires. We had some friends who were firefighters and some lost their homes in the fires,'' she said. ''I just think they're amazing people to do what they do. They were protecting other people's homes while theirs were being destroyed. They were the nicest people, even afterwards, they were checking everyone was OK. There's a certain type of person who becomes a Rural Fire Service person and we're lucky to have them.''