Procession Brings Home Fallen Arizona Firefighters

The bodies of 19 firefighters killed in a wildfire a week ago went home for the last time in individual white hearses, traveling for 125 miles through Arizona.

Julie Jacobson / AP

The nearly five-hour-long procession began near the state Capitol in Phoenix, went through the town where the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed, and ended in the mountain community of Prescott, where they lived and will be laid to rest this week.

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Motorcycle escorts, honor guard members, and firefighting trucks accompanied the 19 hearses along the route.

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Thousands of people from across the state and beyond stood patiently in triple-digit temperatures in Phoenix to pay their respect to the 19 firefighters.

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Christian Petersen / Getty Images

In both Phoenix and Prescott, the procession drove under giant American flags hoisted above the street with the raised ladders of two firefighter trucks.

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Michael Chow / AP

Since their fellow firefighters arrived at the scene where they were killed, the fallen firefighters have not been alone, a firefighter tradition in the U.S.

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Tom Story / AP

Inside each hearse were the American flags that were draped over the men’s bodies at the site of their deaths in Yarnell. The flags have been with them since and will be until they’re buried. After that, the flags will be given to their families.

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Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
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