PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV/AP) - Thousands of firefighters from around the nation payed their final respects at a memorial for 19 members of an elite Arizona Hotshot crew killed in a wildfire June 30.
A memorial service for 19 members of an elite firefighting Hotshot crew featured speeches from dignitaries including Vice President Joe Biden. But the words of the crew's lone survivor resonated deepest in the arena packed with firefighters from around the nation.
Brendan McDonough filed onto the stage at the end of the service and offered what's called "The Hot Shot's Prayer." He calmly recited the words: "For if this day on the line I should answer death's call, Lord, bless my Hotshot crew, my family, one and all."
McDonough concluded by telling the crowd: "Thank you, and I miss my brothers."
The 19 members of the Prescott-based Granite Mountain Hotshots died June 30 when a wind-fueled, out-of-control fire overran them as they tried to protect the town of Yarnell, about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix.