A sad procession of six white vans were escorted by police in Arizona. The vans carried the bodies of 19 hero firefighters killed by a monster wildfire. It's the largest number of firefighter deaths since 9-11.
The headline in the Arizona Republic reads simply: "Tragedy."
The 19 elite firefighters were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The fast-moving wildfire apparently changed direction and caught them by surprise.
A 2012 video shows the Hotshots training with emergency fire retardent tents which they used in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to save themselves.
The Hotshots call them "shake and bake" tents because they're only used as a last resort and the odds of survival are 50-50.
Arizona State University senior Connor Radnovich shot video of the Hotshots in action. Radnovich said, "Every time that a drill would be over and they would be done training with their fire shelters or done cutting up a tree with a chain saw, they would be right back to joking with each other. It was fun to be around them."
The devastated wife of firefighter Andrew Ashcraft spoke for the entire nation when she said, "They died heroes, and we'll miss them. We love them." [Source: azcentral.com]