A/Z Theme - Sights and Sites of Arizona
Y - Yarnell
This is a very sad one, but when I came up with the theme for A/Z, I always knew "Y" would be for Yarnell to honor those that protect others, always putting their own lives in danger.
On June 30, 2013, 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, part of the Prescott City Firefighters, lost their lives fighting a wildfire close to the city of Yarnell, trying to protect the city from the fire potentially destroying it. There were 20 members of the crew; one was a lookout. He survived. Can you imagine the grief he must have felt?
I was living in California at the time and I remember hearing about the tragedy on the news.
It devastated the city of Prescott and surrounding areas. Most people knew at least one of the hot shots, had gone to school with them, etc.
I'm not sure exactly how it all happened, I've read stories. I think this one is pretty comprehensive.
Yarnell is located between Prescott and Phoenix, but you take mountain (i.e. windy roads) to get there. It is a pretty drive.
The temporary memorial. There are plans for a bigger one down the line.
Words cannot describe seeing the display and seeing the loss of young lives. The actual place where they lost their lives is on private land and not accessible to the public, which I think could be a good thing.
Nineteen fallen heroes.
People to this day still have decals on their cars remembering the 19 and lots of houses in Prescott have a display honoring them with 19 flags. One of the Wal-Marts there have a touching memorial to them with pictures of each of the hot shots that lost their lives. I always stopped for a moment to look at their pictures when we shopped there.
But.....God does make beauty out of ashes, no matter how painful it can be and in the midst of tragedy and sadness, healing and love emerged......
A lady who was in New York City and deeply impacted by the events of 9/11/2001 as a World Trade Center survivor ended up in Prescott to heal.
A dad who lost his son in this tragic event of the Yarnell fire.
They fell in love.
The community helped them to heal.
They were married this past December 2015 at the courthouse in Prescott at the annual Christmas tree lighting.
She said if she ever found her soul mate, she wanted to marry in public at a happy event like the tree lighting in front of a lot of people.
I wish them many years of happiness.
God does make beautiful things........