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Lest we forget

Even if you didn’t have time for the ceremonies in Prescott Valley carried live Tuesday, I’m sure you’ve seen or heard some part of the services replayed since.

Moving, deeply emotional, often heartbreaking and certainly never to be forgotten in our lifetime. For more than a week I’ve been struggling with any answer to the questions that we’ve all asked: How do the families cope with the suddenness and immensity of their loss? What do they tell the kids, most of whom are too young to comprehend the reality of someone being gone forever?

How will Brendan McDonough handle the complexities that are attached to the phrase “sole survivor?” And, can there be any possible value, any legacy attached to the loss of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots?

Perhaps. For quite a while now I’ve noticed a genuine respect shown by the general public toward our people in uniform.

The phrase “Thank you for your service” is regularly shared with those who have ever spent time in the military. Could the Yarnell Hill tragedy be the etched memory that reminds us to offer the same gratitude to the firefighters and police officers we meet? We could start now.

Thank you, hotshots … rest well.

I’m Pat McMahon.

For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to