By Guy Atchley. CREATED Jul 8, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - This is no ordinary memorial service. Something like this is normally takes months to plan.
But in just six days with the help of hundreds of volunteers firefighters, police officers and hotshots managed to transform this hockey arena into a service worthy of the fallen.
"They're here setting up stages, setting up tents doing things they don't normally do on a regular basis, but it allows them to express their condolences in that way, said Sean Johnson with the New York Fire Department.
This isn't Johnson's first rodeo. He's the Incident Management Commander for the New York Fire Department and has lived through tragedy like this first hand.
"With 9-11 there was 343 funerals and sometimes I didn't even know whose funeral I was at," Johnson said.
Johnson says tomorrow's memorial will be a way for the community to come together to say goodbye.
And tomorrow more than 20,000 people will stand side by side honoring the fallen firefighters.
The families of the Hotshots will sit in these front rows and Prescott firefighters from around the world will file in behind them filling the remaining seats.
Outside jumbotrons will stream the memorial for onlookers, who will pack into this parking lot.
Crews will work late into the night to get everything ready in time for the families of the fallen to arrive in the morning.