a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Friday, April 29, 2016

Yarnell

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 met.

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........


45 comments:

shortybear said...

beautiful

mike spain said...

Love the view! Firefighters are courageous!

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

That's so sad about the fire fighters - such a huge loss all at once.
It's so nice to see two people helped by the community and coming together after such tragedy.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

lyndagrace said...

Ohh, that is so sad. It's amazing how a community can come together to support each other in times of need.
I like the love story at the end. Bitter sweet.

Bijoux said...

A sad story. I'm amazed at the perseverance of people.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

So sad that many were lost trying to keep others safe. There are many heroes in our world and rarely to we hear about them. Glad you included Yarnell.

Wendy said...

That's an amazing story, both sad and hopeful.

Lynn Proctor said...

To me it is only through God's love can we ensure these tragedies

Lynn Proctor said...

To me it is only through God's love can we ensure these tragedies

Maria Zannini said...

I remember that story about the firefighters. Fire is a dangerous beast and no one knows that more than firefighters.

I'm glad at least some good came of this one.

Intense Guy said...

I find the story about the survivors "finding each other" to be touching.

Joanne said...

Lovely post and perfect for Y. And so often we question WHY?

Srivi said...

The post started on such a sad note but the ending was so happy and full of hopes!
Awesome post :)
Srivi, The Piscean Me

Changes in the wind said...

Love the beauty out of ashes:)

Kathleen Valentine said...

That is a sad story but, as you pointed out, sometimes good things come from tragedy.

@Kathleen01930
Meet My Imaginary Friends
#AtoZchallenge

Jo said...

What a dreadful tragedy. Such fires are so dangerous in many ways.

Nice to have a happy event coming out of the tragedy though.

jack69 said...

What a tragic event. But I do love a good ending. Great story of turning tragedy to triumph. We too wish the couple many years of happiness.

Yes, it is a good entry, you included real life in the A=Z

Love from North Carolina

Keiths Ramblings said...

A tragic tale with a happy ending for at least one couple

My A-Z story features 5 neglected Y words

cleemckenzie said...

I was touched reading about the moments you take to look at the pictures and remember those who lost their lives saving others. Some beautiful stories you shared today. When we almost lost our home to a forest fire, there was nothing we weren't prepared to do for those firefighters.

Kat said...

How tragic.
And thank you for ending it with such a lovely story.

Ruth said...

I had never heard about this. Nice those two people found each other.

OB said...

Great "Y" day,.......

Jayanthi said...

This looks like a very touching love story. Two people going through healing finding solace in each other and then becoming soul mates.

very well written.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I remember that terrible tragedy. I wish that couple all the happiness they can find.

Susan Says

Paula Kaye said...

A beautiful story! I remember when this tragedy happened! I was working with a kid who was in firefighting school. He couldn't wait to get out there and fight fires. This tragedy make him step back a bit and think what a dangerous field firefighting could be. He still went on to be a Firefighter! We need them too!!

Sarah Allan said...

That is extremely sad, but I'm glad there is at least one happy story to come out of it.

Pat Hatt said...

That is a sad one indeed. But even if horrible situations good can arise, as shown

Jerralea said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story! So sad that 19 lost their lives for protecting their community; but glad to see the community gave back in healing for others. Love the story at the end. It's so true that often beauty comes out of tragedy.

Megan Whitson Lee said...

What a sad story. It's tragic that all of those people died, but it's also a good reminder that firefighters lay down their lives just by doing their job. And what a lovely story at the end displaying how God brings good from bad.

TARYTERRE said...

So sad. Such a loss. My uncle was a firefighter in California so I know what they were faced with. I am glad there was something good that came from both tragedies. "there is hope where there is love."

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

So bittersweet. From tragic to magical. Life is that way sometimes.

Liz A. said...

Sad story. Glad you found a happy note to end on.

Linda said...

Nice photo tribute and love how you ended the Yarnell on a happy, romantic note!

Mevely317 said...

Yarnell will always be synonymous with tears. I remember watching their memorial service with a box of Kleenex in my lap. This update ... two desolate souls discovering one another ... makes me smile.

DMS said...

What a powerful post! So sad about the wildfires and the firefighters. Learning about how tragedy ended up uniting those two people made me teary. Thanks for sharing!
~Jesss

Elizabeth said...

I remember seeing that story on the news, so incredibly sad! And one survivor, I can't imagine the grief he must feel. That couple is inspiring, though. In the midst of pain and grief, God still brings peace and joy!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Oh my, that is so sad and I can't imagine being the one survivor. That is a beautiful story about the couple who fell in love through their pain. Thanks for sharing the link. I've read part of it and will finish up later.

Birgit said...

What a sad story but also one of courage, love and hope. This is a story that brings a joyful end and I wish that couple all the best

Sunni said...

Firefighters risk their lives everyday. They have a dangerous job and it's sad to see people die so young. You just never know where life will take you. At least a joyful event came out of this tragedy and I think they'd be happy about that.

Barbara Radisavljevic said...

I live in California and remember reading about this. So many families have been impacted by this tragedy. At least one good thing came of it. Thank you for sharing that.

Blue Grumpster said...

No, I can't imagine the grief he must've felt. :( We're so lucky to be alive, Betty.

Veronica Lee said...

That's so sad about the fire fighters. I'm glad there is at least one happy story to come out of it.

Ann Bennett said...

This is such a bittersweet post. I wasn't going to post comments on posts I am catching up with. But this one is so gut wrenching. The marriage of soul mates was very touching.

The Brown Recluse (TBR) said...

awww I wish them years of happiness, too.

Incredibly sad about those firefighters. I am glad they are not forgetting them...that happens too often to our fallen heroes.

The Brown Recluse (TBR) said...

I wish them years of happiness, as well.

I'm glad they are still honoring those firefighters. Too many times people forget our heroes way too soon.