19 fallen firefighters remembered during Frontier Days parade - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

19 fallen firefighters remembered during Frontier Days parade

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PRESCOTT, Ariz. -

The Frontier Days rodeo parade has been a tradition in Prescott for generations.

The start of the event on Saturday served as a memorial for the 19 fallen firefighters and members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, who lost their lives one week ago Sunday.

A police escort and a banner with 19 names served as an emotional tribute to the fallen.

"It's tough. It's really hard. I think everybody is affected by somebody they knew, somebody who knows somebody. It's hard to watch," said Julie Cowing, a Prescott resident.

"It's been one of the toughest two weeks I've had," said Bob Hinshaw, a retired Prescott firefighter.

Retired Prescott firefighters rode along on a 1931 ladder truck, driven by former colleague Ed Hoffman, whose grandson, 27-year-old Travis Turbyfill, was killed. He was one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

"[It's] a great way to bring their memory to life," said Chet Vogel, a parade attendee.

Onlookers were moved by the tribute.

Organizer Debbie Tuttle says canceling the parade was never an option. Instead, it became a way to honor the late firefighters.

"We're telling everyone hug a fireman, tell them thanks. They've saved homes, they've saved lives," said Tuttle.

The theme of this year's parade is "Champions Past and Present," which was decided before the tragedy on Yarnell Hill.

parade goers say it's all too fitting.

"It's important to remember those firefighters in a positive way," said Daisy Mullin, parade goer.

The families of the heroes rode on top of Truck 72. They're proud of the men who fought the Yarnell Hill Fire and so many others who fought to save lives.

The riderless horse that followed them was a symbol of how much they will be missed.

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