PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — More than 1,000 people turned out Monday to a Prescott university gym to honor the bravery and sacrifice of 19 “Hotshot” firefighters who died battling Arizona’s Yarnell Fire.
Those in the crowd rocked children in their arms, wiped away tears and applauded robustly after each set of remarks, often rising to their feet. Speakers quoted heavily from scripture and described the firefighters’ deaths as Christ-like.
Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo spoke in a shaky voice and paused frequently. He said the firefighters’ families, the Prescott Fire Department, the city of Prescott, the state of Arizona and the nation have all lost.
At the end of the ceremony, dozens of firefighters sporting Hotshot shirts and uniforms from other jurisdictions marched to the front of the auditorium. They bowed their heads for a moment of silence in memory of their fallen comrades.