In Memoriam

I have shared before about my life in Arizona, the life I had before moving to the green landscapes of Western Pennsylvania.  I was not born there, but if you ask where I’m from, I’ll tell you Prescott, AZ.

Prescott is where my family landed the year I started 8th grade, and there I remained for twenty three years.   Prior to that, my childhood had been nomadic.  My father’s career in military service followed by his years of schooling under the GI Bill meant that my family moved every 2-3 years.  Prescott was where his second career began, and the place we finally set down roots.

I live in Pennsylvania now, and I love it – I truly do.  But I would be telling a lie if I said this heart of mine did not ache for those clear blue skies and the hot sun of an Arizona day now and again.

Prescott has grown over the years, but it remains a small town at heart.  Everyone knows each other, but more than that – everyone cares for each other.  And when you leave, something of it goes with you and ties you across the miles to the people and places you knew there.

So, it was a different ache in my heart altogether when I saw the news headlines out of Prescott.  Nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hot Shot Crew lost their lives battling a raging wildfire in Yarnell.   These same crew members had just fought to hold back the Doce Fire that was threatening to encroach on the town of Prescott.

I come from a family with ties to the Prescott Forest and the fire crews that work and train there.   I cannot find the words to describe the bravery and dedication that is found in the heart of every firefighter.  I did not know these particular firefighters, but I know the risks they took.  My heart breaks for them, for their families, and for my home town.

heroes remembered

.R.I.P.

You will always be remembered.

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9 thoughts on “In Memoriam

  1. I’m going to click “like” because I like that you took time to write about this sadness and to honor the brave people who lost their lives. Still, I’m so very sorry to hear of this loss. I know from one of your very early posts that you had a close connection with the fire crews.

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  2. Well said Kristine. Prescott has had some sad days in fire — the Dude Fire that claimed the lives of a prison fire crew and their supervisor in 1990 — but this is of a magnitude that I never thought would occur. We are both saddened and join with the community in their grief. Thanks for sharing your feelings.

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    1. One look at facebook or the comments on a national news story shows how the Prescott community reaches far beyond the borders of the town. I’ve been thinking of you and Rod, and share your sadness. Love you both.
      God bless those brave men who gave their all.

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  3. Well, said… I did know a few of these men. One was the husband of our past Kindergarten teacher. He frequently helped out at the school wherever help was needed: with drama productions, volunteering in the classroom and speaking at chapels. He and his wife had only been married for a few years. It is with heavy hearts we say goodbye to one of our own and to all these brave men.

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  4. Thanks for putting into words what is in our hearts. I’m getting ready to head to Prescott to see my Dad. And yes, even though I wasn’t born there, it is and will always be home.

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    1. Miss you Doryce, and hope your visit with your Dad is a good one. I’m more homesick the last few days than I’ve been in a long, long time. Prescott is definitely in my heart and prayers tonight.

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