The land around Prescott was set ablaze with a fire started from a lightning storm. Ravaging Yarnell Hill, southwest of Prescott, was a huge forest fire that had blown out of control. Nineteen Prescott firefighters -- all but one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots -- died working to get the blaze under control and stop it from destroying the homes of many in the community. This was a tragedy that made national news, devastating the community as well as the country.
Through tragedy, however, there is sometimes found a strange spire of strength. This stronghold was built up within the community, doing everything they could do fully support the families of those who passed. Such a stunning things to see, so many stepping forward to hold up and love those lost in grief. Such an amazing thing, seeing how the Prescott community could come together so quickly to have ceremonies of respect for these men.
One of the most beautiful things was how Prescott College stepped up to help, as well. The college provided free rooms and food for family members travelling to Prescott for the funerals of their loved ones, as well as those who had lost their homes in the fire. The college dorms were decked out to be a comfort in a time when grief was so strong, and provided a sense of stability for those who were in need. A recent Prescott College graduate, Samuel Coodley, was also asked to use his skills as a film maker to document the monument of memorabilia that had surfaced in remembrance of the firefighters close to downtown. His short documentary showed the endless amounts of compassion streaming forth from the people of Prescott.
Altogether this tragedy has shown one very powerful thing: the Prescott community really cares and is willing to be there through thick and thin. This resonates fully through the college as well, as more and more people come here to find a connection to caring that is altogether unique and beautiful.
Brittany Davis 7.26.2013