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Petitions seek national awards for fallen Yarnell firefighters

PHOENIX — Two separate petitions on the White House’s website are seeking to recognize the 19 firefighters who were killed battling a wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz.

The first petition requests that the firefighters be posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, the second-highest recognition awarded to civilians. In addition to the 19 that were lost, the petition also calls for the award to be given to Brendan McDonough, the only member of the crew who survived.

The second petition calls for the fallen firefighters to be given the Public Safety Officer Medal.

The first petition still needed 98,938 signatures to reach the goal of 100,000 as of Monday. Should the goal be met, the White House must give an official response, per policy.

The second petition needed 97,919 signatures as of Monday.

The White House has been vocal following the deaths of the firefighters, with President Barack Obama saying he was “heartbroken” to hear of their deaths. Vice President Joe Biden is also scheduled to attend a Tuesday memorial service in Prescott, Ariz.