Yarnell memorial dismantled at Prescott fire station
A fence at the Prescott fire station that was previously the site of a memorial to the fallen Grant Mountain Hotshots was dismantled Tuesday. (Source: CBS 5 News)
More than 100 feet of the fence was dedicated to the fallen 19 Hotshots and had been visible for more than two months. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PRESCOTT, AZ (CBS5) -
The memorial raised for the Fallen 19 of the Yarnell Hill Fire is now gone.
Volunteers arrived first thing Tuesday morning to take down the mementos, which took up more than 100 feet of fence line to honor the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died June 30 when they were overtaken by the wind-whipped wildfire.
The items ranged from teddy bears to flowers, and were placed in groups of 19 to remember the firefighters.
For some of the family members, the sight of the fence in all its glory was breathtaking - people like Linda Caldwell, who lost both her son, Robert Caldwell, and nephew, Grant McKee, in the fire.
"Amazement, I guess, and just couldn't believe that many people would come out and pay respect," she said.
Now the shock settles in for some to see the fence bare. It's especially shocking for John Marsh, whose son, Eric, led the Hotshot crew.
"It's hard to see it come down, but we know that it has to and we know the people will carry the memories of it for a lifetime."
The items will be preserved as best as possible. The families of the deceased will decide which items they will keep, and which items will go toward a permanent memorial.
Even though the permanent memorial will be nice, the whole event is bittersweet for Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo.
"The sweet part is, once again, that we're starting to move forward," Fraijo said. "Of course, the bitter part is that it took place in the first place."
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