Monday, August 19, 2013

Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Walk

It's been 51 days since the Yarnell fire took the lives of 19 young hotshots working to save the town threatened by the fire. Right outside the fire department the the Granite Mountain Hotshots were based out of there is a memorial walk that has sprung up from the hearts of the people of Prescott and the families of these men who were lost. It's staggeringly large and in every square inch is a heartfelt thank you... It could be in the form of an antique helmet left to symbolize solidarity... or in a teddy bear surrounded by the well worn collection of matchbox firetrucks left by a little boy who wants to be a fireman and saw the death of 19 of his heroes.

I walked about half a block away from the site and still couldn't get the entire thing in my frame. 
In the time that has passed since I took these pictures the city has blocked off parts of the road for heavy pedestrian traffic.

It grows daily as more and more people visit the site.

Full of beautiful gestures...

There are turnouts and shirts from all over the country.

Firefighters come and walk the wall in silence and reflection.

It is impossible to see everything... there are pieces from every walk of life... honoring those who have fallen.

Other hot shot teams have been here...

 They've left a heartfelt nod to their fallen brothers.

An axe... a pair of boots... and 19 shovels.

 Every foot of this walk is heartbreaking...

And staggering...

 19 flags... each with the name of one of the fallen...

It is right across the road from Fire Station 7, home of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

There is a woman that comes out to care for the plants left to honor these men.

She does an amazing job of keeping them looking their best.

 19 water bottles placed in a heart.

19 full sized flags... one for each of the fallen. 

An antique helmet with a note for the lost.

Turnouts signed by an entire fire station. 

I think this was the thing that brought me to full tears. A teddy bear surrounded by a collection of matchbox fire trucks from a little boy who heard of the death of 19 of his heroes.

 This is an awesome thing to behold in the wake of such a tragedy.  I hope the city does right by the families and decides to go ahead and pay benefits to the widows and children of these fallen men.



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