Nightly News   |  July 09, 2013

Moving tribute honors Arizona firefighters’ sacrifice

In Arizona today thousands attended a tearful memorial service for the 19 firefighters who gave their lives protecting their community from the Yarnell Hill fire. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> a sad day in prescott , arizona today. the memorial service for all 19 firefighters, members of that single wildfire hotshot team, they died fighting a fire that by the way continues to burn. people came from across this country and among those paying tribute today, the soul survivor from that crew. nbc's miguel almaguer was there and has our report.

>> reporter: the tribute honored their lives and their sacrifice.

>> wade scott parker .

>> reporter: 19 fallen firefighters who fought and died together. dan fraho was their chief.

>> if i could fulfill my fondest wish, it could be that my tears would wash away the pain and loss that we all feel. you raise me up

>> reporter: the granite mountain hotshots were a band of brothers who saved homes and battled blazes wherever they were called.

>> an elite unit in every sense of that phrase.

>> reporter: last week the hotshots were in their own backyard when a firestorm swept over them, only one man in the team survived. brendan mcdonagh, the crew lookout was a mile away. today he read the hotshot prayer.

>> bless my hotshot crew , my family, one and all.

>> reporter: for nine days, the city of prescott and the firefighters across the country have saluted the hotshots. outside, thousands gathered in the summer heat to pay their respects.

>> it's amazing to see the amount of people that have supported our small town and the heroes that are from here.

>> reporter: tonight a city, a state, a country remembers the granite mountain 19.

>> thank you. and i miss my brothers.

>> reporter: miguel almaguer, nbc news, prescott ,