Southern Colorado pauses
A moment to cherish in downtown Colorado Springs around Noon on Monday. The corner of Cimarron and Sierra Madre was filled with fire crews, first responders and others who just wanted to pay their respects to the 19 Granite Mountain Hot Shots who died fighting a massive wildfire in Arizona last month.
Police scanners gave the last alarm for this group of brave firefighters, "Today we honor the last alarm to the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, 19 on scene in their final resting place. Rest in Peace Hot Shots. Your heroism will be remembered forever."
With hands clasped and heads bowed, more than 100 first responders gathered in a line to honor these heroes. Among them was Scott Campbell. He is the Assistant Fire Marshall with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. He knew some of these heroes who lost their lives. It was too emotional for him to talk about his memories of them but he would tell me about what he was thinking during the minutes of silence to honor these fallen heroes, "I thought a lot about their families, the kids they left behind."
Dawn Sanchez is a Forest Service firefighter and also a former Hot Shot. She told me, "I feel a sense of community and a sense of support. We are all in it together."
Maggie Holway and her 14 year old grandson, Jacob were also watching this solemn minutes to honor these fallen heroes. She told me it made her feel this way, "Pride and just how much they put their lives on the line for all of us everyday."
Colorado also knows the pain of Hot Shots and other firefighters dying to save lives during a massive wildfire. In 1994, near Glenwood Springs, 14 firefighters lost their lives fighting the Storm King Mountain Fire.
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