This Tuesday, July 9, 2013, Prescott Valley will be the site of a funeral service to remember the 19 brave members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died on Sunday, June 30, fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Here is what we know so far about this solemn tribute to a group of heroes.
1. It Will Take Place at Tim’s Toyota Center
Tim’s Toyota Center is a “$36 million multipurpose facility located in Prescott Valley, Arizona,” and can hold over just over 5,000 seats for an event. Although no one has yet announced if a ticketing system will be enacted for accommodating all of those wishing to pay their respects, priority will be given to the families, extended families, and the “extended fire family.”
2. The Bodies are Currently in Phoenix
The bodies of the 19 firefighters are currently in medical examiner’s office in Phoenix where they are being watched 24 hours-a-day by members of the Phoenix Fire Honor Guard in preparation for the funeral procession.
3. They Will Be Returned to Prescott on Sunday
According to CBS5, the firefighters will be returned Prescott on Sunday morning at 10 A.M. They will be brought by 19 hearses and escorted by a full color guard and bagpipe presentation all the way from Phoenix to Prescott, a distance of around 100 miles. The caravan will come to a rest at the Yavapai Country Medical Examiner’s Office in Prescott.
4. More Honor Guards Are Still Needed
The website being used to plan the event, YarnellFallenFirefighters.com has put out a request for other Honor Guards, bagpipe and drum groups, buglers, and rifle teams to participate in a number of memorial events between now and late July.
5. There is a Law to Keep Protesters Away
Threats that the controversial Westboro Baptist Church would come and protest the funeral proceedings of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots could go unfulfilled. A 2011 Arizona Law passed in the wake of the shooting and attempted assassination of former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, outlawed protesting funerals.