Flags lowered to half-staff and makeshift memorials have sprung up in Prescott, AZ since Sunday when 19 firefighters of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew lost their lives in the Yarnell Hill wildfire.
A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 7:30 Tuesday night at the Prescott High School football field.
Located about 2 hours northwest of Phoenix, Prescott is the Yavapai County seat and has a population of approximately 40,000. It is the home of the world's oldest rodeo, held annually since 1888.
In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, and the soil seems to spawn heroic men. Theodore Roosevelt's famous "Rough Riders" were from Prescott, and he called them a "regiment of as gallant fighters as ever wore the United States uniform."
A memorial area for the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew surrounds the Fire Station #7 on 6th St. in Prescott.
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Some of the owners of cars parked at the Hotshot parking lot will not be coming back for them.
This is the final photo Arizona firefighter Andrew Ashcraft texted to his wife before perishing in the Yarnell Hill fire.
UPDATE 11 PM PDT:
Thousands of people attended the vigil on Tuesday evening.
John Dickerson read
each fallen hotshot's name, to applause, and released nineteen purple balloons into the sky. He noted that "purple is the color for fallen firefighters,"
and noted that like the balloons, "our brothers have been cut loose from the troubles of this world, to rise to Heaven."
Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)
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