Today, thousands of Arizonans flocked to the streets, highways, and overpasses that lined the way home for the nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Unit that lost their lives one week ago today near Yarnell, Arizona. They perished when a wicked wind suddenly changed directions, and ferociously fanned the flames of a massive wildfire. The way the wind changed was unprecedented; it left our home state heroes with no way out.
I cannot imagine a way that a community can repay such a sacrifice, but I was proud of my Grand Canyon State brothers and sisters. Many got out of their cars and endured 110+ degree temperatures.
Many cried, some waved flags, and others–like me–documented a scene they hope to never see again. The line of white hearses was just so incredibly long.
This blog highlights some of the ways that photography helps many move their minds away from focusing on chronic pain and other ailments. I was able to take pictures of today’s procession, but it offered no remedy. It simply provided an opportunity to reflect and to say ‘thank you’ to all Americans who selflessly dedicate themselves to efforts to protect others.
The Firefighter’s Pledge – “I promise concern for others. Willingness for those in need. I promise courage – courage to face and conquer my fears and courage to share and endure the ordeal of those who need me. I promise strength – strength of heart to bear whatever burdens might be placed upon me and strength of body to deliver safety to all those placed within my care. I promise the wisdom to lead, the compassion to comfort, and the love to serve unselfishly whenever I am called.” – Author unknown