Remember the 19 plus 1

Two years ago today, 19 brave Granite Mountain Hotshots perished in the Yarnell wildfire. You can read my posts about that here and here.  Those of us who have firefighters in our families never forget that every day they are on shift they put their lives in danger without worrying that they may be badly injured or even die while fighting a fire. 

Please remember and pray for the families of these 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots today.

In memory of the brave
Granite Mountain Hotshots
who perished in the line of duty
on June 30, 2013

GMHSInMemory

I am blessed and privileged to know several firefighters. All of them—and I know this holds true for all firefighters—put their lives on the line every time they suit up in their turnouts. Whether on the job or in their personal lives, they are selfless and giving people who always seem to think of others before themselves. They are the embodiment of 1 John 3:16:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 

The collage below shows the long funeral procession in which 19 white hearses were accompanied by fire and police vehicles. The lines of people on both sides of the highway spanned miles.

The memorial service took place in Prescott, close to where we live, and Rick and I were privileged to open our home to my son, Alan, along with Justin and Zane, two firefighter buddies from Dallas Fire Department who are also members of the Dallas Pipes & Drums. Each of them attended and were involved in the memorial service, along with many, many others.

HotShot-Collage2

We cannot forget another brave member of  the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew, Brandon McDonough, the sole survivor. Brandon read The Hot Shot’s Prayer during the memorial service:

When I am called to duty, Lord …

To fight the roaring blaze …

Please keep me safe and strong …

I may be here for days.

Be with my fellow crew members …

As we hike up to the top.

Help us cut enough line …

For this blaze to stop.

Let my skills and hands …

Be firm and quick.

Let me find those safety zones …

As we hit and lick.

For if this day on the line …

I should answer death’s call …

Lord, bless my hot shot Crew …

My family, one and all.

Matt5-4-Crying- 25--AMP

I want to thank all firefighters for their unselfish and giving service, even though that never sounds adequate to express what’s in my heart. God bless you and your families with His everlasting love and peace…

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City of Prescott to Commemorate Granite Mountain Hotshots

On June 30, 2015, the City of Prescott will commemorate the Granite Mountain Hotshots, 19 members of which were tragically lost on June 30, 2013. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the event on the north steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse. The ceremony will begin with the Posting of Colors by an inter-agency Honor Guard of firefighters at 4:35 p.m. There will be a moment of silence at 4:42 p.m., the official time of death of the crew members, followed by the ringing of the Courthouse bell 19 times. Flags at all city and county facilities will be flown at half-staff.

Below is a collage of photos taken by Chris Kissling. Rick and I first got to know Chris and his wife, Ann, when we all lived in Hanford, California. Please visit his Facebook page to see more of his photography.

 

BlogSL2-smallest

In Memory…

In memory of the brave Granite Mountain Hotshots who perished on June 30, 2013

 

GMHSInMemory

I am blessed and privileged to know several firefighters. All of them—and I know this holds true for all firefighters—put their lives on the line every time they suit up in their turnouts. Whether on the job or in their personal lives, they are selfless and giving people who always seem to think of others before themselves. They are the embodiment of 1 John 3:16:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 

The collage below shows the long funeral procession from last year, 19 white hearses accompanied by fire and police vehicles. The lines of people on both sides of the highway spanned miles.

The memorial service took place in Prescott, close to where we live, and Rick and I were privileged to open our home to my son, Alan, along with Justin and Zane, two firefighter buddies from Dallas Fire Department who are also members of the Dallas Pipes & Drums. Each of them attended and were involved in the memorial service, along with many, many others.

HotshotCollage

 

Let’s not forget the sole survivor of that Granite Mountain Hotshots crew, Brendan McDonough, who read “The Hot Shot’s Prayer” during the memorial service:

When I am called to duty, Lord …

To fight the roaring blaze …

Please keep me safe and strong …

I may be here for days.

Be with my fellow crew members …

As we hike up to the top.

Help us cut enough line …

For this blaze to stop.

Let my skills and hands …

Be firm and quick.

Let me find those safety zones …

As we hit and lick.

For if this day on the line …

I should answer death’s call …

Lord, bless my hot shot Crew …

My family, one and all.

 

Ps34-18--brokenhearted

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I want to thank all firefighters for their unselfish and giving service, even though that never sounds adequate to express what’s in my heart. God bless you and your families with His everlasting love and peace…

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SmileyBlackCoffeeAnna…..

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Independence Day … and an update [Repost]

Independence Day

I am very thankful that we can still celebrate Independence Day here in the United States. Many of us typically celebrate with fireworks, picnics, barbecues and family get-togethers which commemorate probably the most important day in our country’s history. As a nation, the United States of America is very blessed because of the sacrifice of all those who fought to procure our freedoms.

--PatrioticSoldier

The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
    the plans of his heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! —Psalm 33:11-12

Let us never forget how blessed we are as a nation … under God … whose freedom was bought at a great price.

Update on Monday’s post about the

19 Granite Mountain Hotshot Firefighters

I do not want to minimize the importance of this July 4th commemoration, the reason we celebrate it, or the enormous sacrifices made by the men and women who serve in the various branches of the military to protect our country and our freedoms. But I also need to share further information about some other heroes who sacrificed their lives to protect us earlier this week.

Please forgive me if it seems that I am dishonoring or disrespecting our military in any way by talking about these other brave souls. It is absolutely not my intention to do so.

This is just a simple tribute to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot Firefighters, and the family and friends they left behind. A wonderful Facebook group established to honor the memories of these fallen heroes and to support their families created the great banner image below.

I did not personally know any of these brave men but my son did and so did several of my friends. We are all grieving their deaths, most of whom were so young.

IndependenceDayHonoringOurHeroes

The Yarnell 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots:

yarnell19-2Credit: Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots Facebook page

Andrew Ashcraft, 29
Robert Caldwell, 23
Travis Carter, 31
Dustin Deford, 24
Christopher MacKenzie, 30
Eric Marsh, 43
Grant McKee, 21
Sean Misner, 26
Scott Norris, 28
Wade Parker, 22
John Percin, 24
Anthony Rose, 23
Jesse Steed, 36
Joe Thurston, 32
Travis Turbyfill, 27
William Warneke, 25
Clayton Whitted, 28
Kevin Woyjeck, 21
Garret Zuppiger, 27

You can read the “Families, Friends of The Yarnell 19 Speak Out” story here.

Several members of our church are retired firefighters who come out of retirement every year to help fight these wildfires. I am very thankful to each and every one of them for their service over the years.

Our church has been for praying for the families of the 19 men who perished in the Yarnell Hill fire and for firefighters who are still fighting the Yarnell fire as well as other wildfires in Arizona and other western states.

Please keep in mind—and in prayer—that there was a survivor of that horrible wildfire incident last Sunday. Of the 20-man Granite Mountain Hotshot team, one of the men survived. This was most likely because he was assigned to be the lookout that day and happened to be away from the rest of his team. He was up on a ridge checking weather conditions and radioing the information back to the rest of his team when they perished.

I’d rather not share his name here because he is more than likely struggling with why he was the only survivor. Maybe someday he will be ready to talk about this; maybe not. At any rate, he should be allowed the time and space to get through his many conflicting emotions about that fateful day without media or anyone else crowding him.

Our church held a prayer meeting on Monday night which I was sadly not able to attend, but I’m thankful that one of the ladies had the foresight to take some photos to share with us.

This is the result of how they decorated one of the parking lot fences:

Pray4FireCrewsLook closely and you’ll see it reads “Pray 4 Fire Crews”

The next photos show the alternating messages on the digital sign outside the church:

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. —John 15:13

She’s baaack…finally! [Repost]

a7bd3-im-back

On July 8th, almost a month ago, I posted about needing to take a break from the blogging life. I thought it would be only a week or two, but the “stuff” of my life got totally out of hand and day after day slipped by. However, I’m baaack!!!

Things started out with the horrifyingly sad news about the line-of-duty deaths of the 19 Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots while fighting the Yarnell fire. There was only one survivor and that was because he was the assigned lookout that day.

On top of that horrible news, the wonderful and crazy part of my month. First, my son, Alan, and two of his firefighter buddies from Dallas came to stay here for a few nights in order to attend and take part in the memorial service for those 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. Then just as they left,, my daughter, Kathy, arrived for a few days’ visit while she was on vacation.

Wonderful? Absolutely! Crazy? Well, for me it was that, but only because any kind of extra activity—fun or not—greatly impacts my health. I have said many times before that good stress as well as bad stress affects me, and let’s just say that I spent the rest of July recovering.

Would I change any of it? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I loved having each and every one of them here! Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing some of what happened during my eventful July, a little at a time.

Let me start today with one of the big reasons I haven’t been here in awhile. I’ve been thinking on and praying over things that I saw and heard regarding the deaths of those 19 Hotshots…and aspects of fires (including wildfires) and firefighters in general.

yarnell19-2I have found myself very weepy at times as I contemplate how the families of those 19 fallen firefighters are feeling. They must be reeling from the sudden loss, and that hurts my heart so much. Just this alone made me physically and emotionally weary, which is enough to set off a CFIDS/FMS flare.

My eyes kept “leaking” (the sweet way Rick refers to my crying) as I thought about the significance of the way I prayed for Alan’s salvation for so many years—that God would do whatever He needed to do to get Alan’s attention. And I wept as I prayed this many times over the years because I realized that God could well allow Alan to be severely injured in the line of duty.

One thing we talked about while he was here is that God did indeed use a fire several years ago to get Alan’s complete attention, but thankfully he was not injured in the process. I had never thought about it this way before, and now not one day goes by that I don’t remember that! And praise and thank God for it!

I’d like to leave you today by telling you about a song that was written as a tribute to the 19 fallen Hotshots. Alton Eugene, an Oklahoma man, created “Hope Song” after the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma. When he heard about these 19 brave Hotshots who were killed while fighting the Yarnell fire, he knew his song could serve as a method to mourn and heal. So he made a tribute to the fallen firefighters as a backdrop to his song.

You can view the video at Alton Eugene’s website. There are also links on the Facebook page he created as a tribute. “Hope Song” (2013 Arizona Fires Tribute), by Alton Eugene, is available on iTunes or Amazon and 100% of every download ($0.99) goes to the families and communities affected by the Yarnell wildfire.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

—John 15:13

A_Firefighter__s_Prayer…..

AnnaSmile

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author
and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Thank and Pray for Your Courageous Firefighters! [Repost]

Last year at this time, we heard the devastating news that 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots perished in the Yarnell wildfire. In the next few days I will be sharing several posts from that time last year, starting with this one today.

PrescottFFLastAlarm

I was going to post an update this morning about the Doce fire which I told you about a couple of weeks ago and has since been contained. But I woke up today to some devastating news that I feel the need to share with you.

Yesterday another wildfire burned about 50 miles from where I live, in a little town called Yarnell. According to those on the scene, the fire turned deadly from lightning strikes during a monsoon storm.

As is common during these storms, the wind activity became wild—thus the terwildfire. I witness these kinds of monsoon winds many times during the summer and it never fails to fill me with foreboding. Often during these monsoon storms, we don’t get the rain itself, only the high winds and menacingly dark, cloudy skies.

That is what happened in Yarnell yesterday. Tons of wild wind mixed in with lightning strikes but with no rain to help temper the effects of those strikes made for a wildfire that spread too rapidly.

As a result, 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots—part of the Prescott Fire Department—lost their lives while battling that blaze. Prescott is certainly in deep mourning over this tragedy, and many of us are praying for the families left behind.

As the mother of a firefighter, I have always worked to keep a certain mental and emotional distance from thinking too much about how dangerous fire fighting is. However, the deaths of those 19 at the Yarnell fire has really impacted me and brought me to tears. I am very thankful that Alan has never been severely injured or lost his life while fighting a fire but I also know that there have been some very close calls.

I choose daily not to think about or dwell on that.

In honor of my son, Alan (pictured above), and all the firefighters I know—or have never even met—if I don’t say it enough, here it is again:

THANK YOU for all you do in the line of duty to keep us safe. You are all examples of the most courageous people I can imagine, people who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to keep the rest of us safe from the devastating effects of fires.

To read more about the Yarnell fire:

  http://prescottaz.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=120764

ThankFirefighterssmiley-sad

She’s baaack…finally!

a7bd3-im-back

On July 8th, almost a month ago, I posted about needing to take a break from the blogging life. I thought it would be only a week or two, but the “stuff” of my life got totally out of hand and day after day slipped by. However, I’m baaack!!!

Things started out with the horrifyingly sad news about the line-of-duty deaths of the 19 Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots while fighting the Yarnell fire. There was only one survivor and that was because he was the assigned lookout that day.

On top of that horrible news, the wonderful and crazy part of my month. First, my son, Alan, and two of his firefighter buddies from Dallas came to stay here for a few nights in order to attend and take part in the memorial service for those 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. Then just as they left,, my daughter, Kathy, arrived for a few days’ visit while she was on vacation.

Wonderful? Absolutely! Crazy? Well, for me it was that, but only because any kind of extra activity—fun or not—greatly impacts my health. I have said many times before that good stress as well as bad stress affects me, and let’s just say that I spent the rest of July recovering.

Would I change any of it? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I loved having each and every one of them here! Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing some of what happened during my eventful July, a little at a time.

Let me start today with one of the big reasons I haven’t been here in awhile. I’ve been thinking on and praying over things that I saw and heard regarding the deaths of those 19 Hotshots…and aspects of fires (including wildfires) and firefighters in general.

yarnell19-2I have found myself very weepy at times as I contemplate how the families of those 19 fallen firefighters are feeling. They must be reeling from the sudden loss, and that hurts my heart so much. Just this alone made me physically and emotionally weary, which is enough to set off a CFIDS/FMS flare.

My eyes kept “leaking” (the sweet way Rick refers to my crying) as I thought about the significance of the way I prayed for Alan’s salvation for so many years—that God would do whatever He needed to do to get Alan’s attention. And I wept as I prayed this many times over the years because I realized that God could well allow Alan to be severely injured in the line of duty.

One thing we talked about while he was here is that God did indeed use a fire several years ago to get Alan’s complete attention, but thankfully he was not injured in the process. I had never thought about it this way before, and now not one day goes by that I don’t remember that! And praise and thank God for it!

I’d like to leave you today by telling you about a song that was written as a tribute to the 19 fallen Hotshots. Alton Eugene, an Oklahoma man, created “Hope Song” after the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma. When he heard about these 19 brave Hotshots who were killed while fighting the Yarnell fire, he knew his song could serve as a method to mourn and heal. So he made a tribute to the fallen firefighters as a backdrop to his song.

You can view the video at Alton Eugene’s website. There are also links on the Facebook page he created as a tribute. “Hope Song” (2013 Arizona Fires Tribute), by Alton Eugene, is available on iTunes or Amazon and 100% of every download ($0.99) goes to the families and communities affected by the Yarnell wildfire.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

—John 15:13

A_Firefighter__s_Prayer…..

AnnaSmile

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author
and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.