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Memorial hike in honor of fallen hotshot crew

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 01:33:19-04
June 30th marks three years since 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives battling the Yarnell Hill Fire.
 
A ceremony was held in Prescott Valley, with a moment of silence at 4:42 p.m., the official time of the hotshots' passing.
 
A memorial hike took place on Tumamoc Hill in Tucson on Thursday.  The hike was organized by a group called Climb 4 The Fallen. The organization helps local families of firefighters and has been around for about 5 years. 
 
Anthony Taylor, one of the organizers, says they want to make the hike an annual event. Every year they organize a 9/11 stair climb, and want to continue to raise money for families in need. Everyone that works at the fire department is extremely close, Taylor said. Taylor works for the Green Valley Fire District.
 
A few dozen people from across Southern Arizona went on the hike to pay respects to their fallen brothers.
 
"It's our home away from home, it's our family away from family," Taylor said. "And that's why we started the Climb 4 the Fallen Group, to help guys and their families in times of tragedy."
 
 
On June 22, Arizona Public Service Foundation donated $229,000 to open Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park.
 
The donation was the amount needed to open the park. It will likely be completed and open in November. 
 
The funds will cover construction of the trail to the deployment site, biography plaques for each of the 19 hotshots, benches along the main trail and completion of the observation deck over looking the deployment site.
 
"The Granite Mountain Hotshots made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the community, and we will never forget their service," said Governor Doug Ducey. "The memorial park is an effort to develop a lasting legacy for the brave hotshots who gave their lives and will provide Arizonans a place to honor these heroes."
 
On Thursday Governor Ducey ordered flags in Arizona to fly at half-staff.