I suffered long distance. I mourned past mountain ranges. My shock took only fractions of a second in response to an event hundreds of miles away.
I was in Northern California for the holiday week, when a friend, a former fire fighter in Phoenix, contacted us saying 19 men had perished in the Yarnell Hill wildfire.
I told my wife that while it was a horrible tragedy, he must have been mistaken about the number. I recall the loss of two, perhaps four in incidents over the years, but 19 was unthinkable. Those are the kinds of numbers that we read about with the World Trade Center. And then the national news confirmed it as a nightmare reality: 19 elite firefighters, the Granite Mountain Hotshots, most in their 20s, some of their ashes already a part of Yarnell Hill.
And even though I was in the Bay Area, I didn’t lack for information. It was often the lead story locally and on the networks. But, I never got to know any of them or their families, until this weekend.
I’m not here to sell newspapers, but in Sunday’s Arizona Republic there are stories on each of them. Read them…touch their pictures…and when you do, remember that paper you’re touching is made out of trees.
I’m Pat McMahon.
For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to yarnellfallenfirefighters.com.
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development