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Memorial Service set for Arizona firefighters -- updated

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By Associated Press

 

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) — On a day filled with speeches from dignitaries including the vice president, the words of the lone survivor of a fire crew overrun by flames resonated deepest in an arena packed with firefighters from around the nation.

A stone-faced Brendan McDonough filed onto the stage at the end of the service and offered what's called "The Hot Shot's Prayer," calmly reciting the words: "For if this day on the line ... I should answer death's call ... Lord, bless my hot shot Crew ... My family, one and all."

He concluded by telling the crowd: "Thank you, and I miss my brothers."

McDonough spoke at a memorial for the 19 members of the Prescott-based Granite Mountain Hotshots who died June 30 when a wind-fueled, out-of-control fire overran them as they tried to protect a former gold mining town from the inferno. Vice President Joe Biden called them "men of uncommon valor" while thanking God that one member of the crew survived unhurt.


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