Tragedy at Yarnell: People crowd Prescott procession

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Tragedy at Yarnell: People crowd Prescott procession

By Guy Atchley . CREATED Jul 7, 2013

PRESCOTT, Ariz.(KGUN9-TV) - As 19 white hearses drove through Downtown Prescott, waves of emotion came over the hundreds of people lining the street. Residents say it is a reminder that the fallen Granite Hotshots will never fully return home.

"They were our hometown boys, they were our boys and now they're gone," Kelly Barnes said.

People from across the nation waited for hours to pay their respects. Flags waving, hand over hearts, the community honored the brave men who lost their lives while fighting a fire just a few miles away.

"It was heartbreaking. We knew some of the boys and their families and it just tore us apart," Ann Chavez said.

For many, the procession was a reminder of how fragile life can be. Through heartbreak, the tight-knit community found a way to remember the Granite Mountain Hotshots in a way they say their fallen friends would have wanted.

Friends of Robert Caldwell held a celebration of life party the night before the procession.

"They had a bobapalooza last night. He was very well loved," says Chavez

The families of the fallen greeted the 19 hearses near fire station seven -- one stop closer to saying goodbye to the fathers, sons, husbands and brothers who gave their lives to service.