Let's not forget what happened on June 30, 2013. It takes a special person to do what these brave 19 did. Please leave your comments on Jan's post.
Anytime you drive by the area of Yarnell, Arizona, and if you're from Arizona, you know the significance of this town and the tragedy of June 30, 2013. That day nineteen hot shot firefighters lost their lives in a tragic fire that had overtaken the area.
The Yarnell fire started from a lightening strike and spread quickly due to monsoon winds, a seasonal occurrence in Arizona. A crew of 20 hotshot firefighters trained for this type of fire assembled to battle the fire. One of the firefighters separated early on as a lookout. The fire took a deadly turn and 19 firefighters perished in what is considered the worst fire tragedy in Arizona history.
I remember vividly driving back from my hometown in Kansas, on the last leg of my 1000 mile drive on July 9, 2013. As I made a left turn and drove south of Flagstaff, a long train of fire trucks was driving south on I-17, having just been to the memorial that day. The remembrance of it all was just overwhelming, driving next to those fire trucks. I slowed down, joining them for a while. I'll never forget that sad drive home. Thinking of the families that had to endure that tragedy.
This is a simple tribute in their memory to honor them on this ninth anniversary, and to share where you can find the memorial that was opened to the public November 30, 2016. Below you'll see the Memorial on July 9, 2013 with then Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, then Vice President Joe Biden and MANY others honoring the firefighters. Firefighters came from across the country to pay tribute to all 20 firefighters, recognizing that Brendan McDonough has worked to maintain the legacy of the 19 who sacrificed their lives.
The Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park is comprised of 320 acres and is a seven mile hike to and from the tragedy site where 19 gabions are placed in the exact location of where the firefighters were found. Each gabion is linked together by heavy chains, a symbolic gesture.
The hike starts out with the "hotshot trail" where you'll see 19 plaques as you traverse the trail of each fire fighter and their story. As you hit the top of the hill, you'll be able to look down to the tragedy site and that trail is the "journey trail."
One of the trucks from the Granite Mountain crew is now on display in the Hall of Flames Firefighting Museum with special remembrance of the 19 hotshots. It's been said that this is the largest firefighter museum.
One of my fellow realtors created this t-shirt in their honor. Prayers for their families and those that knew them.