This morning we can say goodbye, rest well and thank you, but be sure to say it 19 times.
Radio and television will bring you the services for the Granite Mountain Hotshots — the 19 young men who were trapped in a hellish tornado of fire and murderous heat last week outside of Yarnell.
My God, was it just last week?
These last few days we’ve gotten acquainted with them — their faces, the wives, their children, even the babies about to be born into a suddenly single-parent family.
What will your lasting memory be? The 19 white hearses making that final trip on a highway lined with mourners or perhaps the 19 flag-draped caskets? Do you know that photo has been the subject of considerable controversy? For the life of me, I don’t understand why. Is there a better shroud for young heroes than Old Glory?
If outrage is the only outlet you have for your grief, why not save it for the latest issue of the Phoenix New Times that chose to delve into the irrelevant personal history of Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor of the tragedy.
I personally choose to tear that tabloid into long pieces and use them to dry my tears.
I’m Pat McMahon.
For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to yarnellfallenfirefighters.com.