Prescott, AZ: Memorial Service held for the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots Firefighters.
Family, friends, and thousands of firefighters from across the national and the globe came together at a memorial service on Tuesday to remember and pay their respects to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots Firefighters who were all killed while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in Yarnell, Arizona.
The memorial service which was called, “Our Fallen Brothers: A Celebration of Life” and was held inside the Tim’s Toyota Center located at 3201 North Main Street in Prescott Valley, Arizona.
As family, friends, and firefighters from across the national and the globe gathered inside the Tim’s Toyota Center, many from the community gathered outside the Tim’s Toyota Center to watch the memorial service on large television screens.
The pictures of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots Firefighters were surrounded by their fire department gear and flowers near a plaque with the list of the fallen 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots Firefighters as a large United States of America flags hanged up in honor and great respect form these very dedicated and hard working firefighters who put their lives on the line of a out of control wildfire to protect the community they all lived and serviced.
United States Vice President Joe Biden, United States Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer spoke very sincerely about these brave and wonderful 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots Firefighters at the memorial service.
The United States Vice President Joe Biden honored the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots Firefighters calling them, “heroes long before we knew their names.”
The 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters were killed a week ago well they were fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire which was sparked by lightning on Friday, June 28th, 2013 in Yarnell, Arizona.
** The following is a list of names of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters who put their lives on the line to save others and their community: **
– 29 year old Andrew Ashcraft
– 23 year old Robert Caldwell
– 31 year old Travis Carter
– 24 year old Dustin Deford
– 30 year old Christopher MacKenzie
– 43 year old Eric Marsh
– 21 year old Grant McKee
– 26 year old Sean Misner
– 28 year old Scott Norris
– 22 year old Wade Parker
– 24 year old John Percin
– 23 year old Anthony Rose
– 36 year old Jesse Steed
– 32 year old Joe Thurston
– 27 year old Travis Turbyfill
– 25 year old William Warneke
– 28 year old Clayton Whitted
– 21 year old Kevin Woyjeck
– 27 year old Garret Zuppiger
A fireman who belonged to the 20 person Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighter team, identified as 21 year old Brendan McDonough survived the tragedy because he was moving the crew’s truck.
Brendan McDonough offer the “The Hot Shot’s Prayer” at the memorial service calmly reading these words, “For if this day on the line I should answer death’s call, Lord, bless my Hotshot crew, my family, one and all.”
Brendan McDonough concluded by telling the crowd: “Thank you, and I miss my brothers.”
Over 300 firefighters from all over California were among the thousands of firefighters at the memorial service to pay their respects to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters which 5 of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters killed were from Southern California.
Kevin Woyjeck was the son of Los Angeles County Fire Captain Joe Woyjeck and was a former Los Angeles County Fire Department Explorer and worked as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for Care Ambulance Service.
Chris MacKenzie and Billy Warneke were both originally from Hemet, California.
Grant McKee grew up in Costa Mesa, California and attended Newport Harbor High School before moving to Arizona to become a Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters.
Grant McKee’s cousin, Robert Caldwell was also killed in the wildfire.
Andrew Ashcraft had lived in Orange, California and Garden Grove, California and leaves behind a wife and 4 young children.
The first of 19 funerals begin later in the week for the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots Firefighters.
The investigation into the tragic deaths of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters continues and will take 2 to 3 months and the investigation team will recreate the incident from beginning to end.
**** ZachNews send our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the families and friends of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters. ****