Jul 1, 2014 2:21 AM by Lauren Reimer
PRESCOTT - Hundreds turned out today to remember the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, killed one year ago, trying to protect the nearby town from an out-of-control brush fire. The largest lost of life for U.S. firefighters since the September 11th attacks.
At the public ceremony in Prescott, all 19 names were read off, including one of Marana's own, William Warneke.
"At my age I think of their youth and the lives that they had ahead of them. I think of their wives, their girlfriends, their children," said Jack Jones, who was in attendance at Monday's public ceremony.
Warneke, 25, had both a wife a baby on the way.
"I think it's sad. Very sad. But I think it's very heroic. I just can't imagine them having to give their life like that," said Erwin Dillard, who also came out to remember the fallen firefighters at the public ceremony.
Now nearly 8 months old, baby Billie Grace and her mother Roxanne made a trip to Yarnell Hill see the spot where their loved one died.
After the visit, she said "Seeing the new growth vegetation was bittersweet, I hated seeing the scrub that fueled the fire and killed my husband, but it also reaffirmed that life continues after death."
And several Southern Arizona firefighters made the trip all the way to Prescott to honor their fellow first responders.
Justin Wright, a Sierra Vista firefighter and paramedic, said "the fire service is like a brotherhood."
There is a public exhibit located inside the Hotel St. Michael in Prescott with a display for each of the fallen hotshots. It will be open from now until Sunday July 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.