PHOENIX — In case you missed it: On Wednesday night, NBC Nightly News aired a television feature on Arizona’s new Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park.
The state park opened to the public in November 2016 in honor of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who gave their lives to keep Arizona safe.
In June 2013, the 20-member Granite Mountain Hotshots crew deployed to fight the Yarnell Hill Fire. The raging fire surrounded their position, trapped the hotshots in place, and ultimately forced them to deploy shelters. In a tragedy we’ll never forget, 19 members of the crew did not make it.
“These brave Americans gave the ultimate sacrifice protecting Arizona’s communities,” Governor Doug Ducey said at the opening of the state park. “They deserve a lasting legacy to memorialize their heroism and sacrifices, along with that of all wildland firefighters who put their lives on the line to keep our state safe.”
In their honor, Arizona state legislators appropriated $500,000 to purchase the land at the site of tragedy, and, on June 30, 2015, Arizona State Parks and Trails officially purchased the 308 acres of land.
It took just over one year to create the beautiful new state park in collaboration with state officials, volunteers, and staff from Arizona State Parks and Trails. These efforts were made possible through public contributions and a generous donation from Arizona Public Service Foundation.
We’ll continue to keep the memory of these brave men alive. This national news feature goes a long way in making that happen. Our gratitude to these heroes’ families—as well as everyone involved in the creation of this lasting memorial—cannot be overstated.