June 30, 2021- No, this isn’t about Joe Biden. The things that happened in tandem today were a good stretch of fairly heavy rain and the eighth anniversary of the fire which killed 19 wildland firefighters, in Yarnell, AZ. The rain hit our area quite well, making a small dent in the dryness of the soil. It’ll take far more to reverse the lack of moisture that has marked the last two summers. I do hope that it helped to quench some of the fires that have ravaged much of our state, these past two months.
There was intermittent rain, as I drove out to Yarnell, to attend the dedication of a town park, constructed in honour of the 19 men. The grandfather of one of the fallen is a man with whom I worked for several years, in the western suburbs of Phoenix. He has since relocated to the Yarnell area and is a driving force behind this memorial. I also know family members of three others among the Granite Mountain Hot Shots who died that day. In each case, there have been shrines and memorial sites built, both on private land and as part of a State Park, which lies seven miles south of Yarnell, and which I have visited twice.
Here are some scenes from the heartwarming ceremony that took place this afternoon and of a private shrine, built by a couple who lost their house that day, and have since refurbished another fine residence, to include a chapel dedicated to the firefighters.
This day, marking the halfway point of any given year, thus will ever have its own indelible significance.
Good that the community is still strong and willing to commemorate their loss with such a beautiful monument.
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They are a true collective inspiration.