Yarnell honors 19 firefighters who died trying to save the small Arizona town

YARNELL, AZ - People in Yarnell are coming together to remember the 19 lives lost while trying to save that town from fire.

Monday marks a year since the flames from the Yarnell Hill Fire got the upper hand on the Granite Mountain Hotshots. They died on June 30.

On Sunday a large crowd turned out for a memorial service at Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park.

And emotions are as strong today as the day it happened.

The ceremony was held in the middle of town in what will become a park  not only for the fallen hotshots and their families but the entire community, which has endured so much tragedy this year.

In preparation for Monday’s anniversary, people from all over the state gathered this afternoon to honor the fallen firefighters.

Area fire departments led the procession with a traditional flag ceremony, accompanied by bagpipes.

Original songs written about the hotshots were performed.

The big message of the day was about healing and how through this devastation Yarnell has come together and promises to rebuild even stronger than before.

Many people got up to say a few words, including a grandfather of one of those hotshots, Garret Zuppiger.

He says it’s important that we never forget what happened in Yarnell one year ago.

“All of them, they were real people with real lives and that should never be forgotten. And if I can bring a little bit of him to these people, then good for them, because he was a wonderful guy,” said Lew Theokas.

Some people have chosen not to attend the events, telling ABC15 that many families have decided to spend this weekend away to reflect in private. Some said they can’t bear to be in Yarnell during this difficult time.

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