July 3, 2013

Letter: ‘The finest people you’ll ever meet’

On Sunday, 19 of the elite 20-member Prescott, Ariz. “Granite Mountain Hotshots” firefighting crew were killed in an Arizona wildfire. Known for battling the region’s worst fires, they had recently spent weeks fighting fires in New Mexico and Prescott.

So, as a heat wave across the Southwest sent temperatures into the triple digits, they hiked into the smoky wilderness over the weekend with chain saws and backpacks stuffed with heavy gear to remove brush and trees as they fought the lightning-sparked fire that encompassed more than 8,000 acres, destroyed at least 50 structures and threatened 500 people in the small town of Yarnell.

It was the most firefighters killed battling a wildfire in the United States since 1933. The average age of the men in the crew was only 22.

Of the firefighters who all were part of his city’s fire department, an emotional Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said it plainly, “We just lost 19 of the finest people you’ll ever meet.”

My heart goes out to the Prescott Fire Department and its families. They have suffered a devastating loss, one that I hope our own community never has to experience.

Whether it’s a structure, a vehicle or woodlands, fighting fires is dangerous work, and the risk is well-known to the brave men and women who don their gear daily, 24/7, and battle the flames. And I, for one, am very proud of the men and women that protect us here locally.

The next time you see a fire truck headed down the road, lights flashing and siren wailing, say a simple prayer for these wonderful men and women. For each and everyone is truly a hero, highly-skilled professionals who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to protect the lives and property of their neighbors and fellow citizens, many of which they have never so much as met. These guys and gals are my heroes, for sure, and without a doubt some of the finest people you’ll ever meet.

“When a tragedy like this strikes, all we can do is offer our eternal gratitude to the fallen, and prayers for the families and friends left behind. God bless them all.” — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

Barry D. Jennings


Text Only
  • Successes continue at Dalton State College

    These are exciting times for our local college, Dalton State, both on campus and off.

    April 16, 2014

  • Mark Millican: The birds hushed their singing

    For the uninitiated, that line is from what many consider the greatest rock song of all time, “Stairway to Heaven,” by Led Zeppelin.

    April 15, 2014

  • Misty Watson: When blood sugar drops, anger rises

    It wouldn’t have taken 107 married couples and 21 days to figure out that being hungry makes people angry.

    April 15, 2014

  • Working for the man

    You may be one of the many Americans who will rush to file their income taxes today. But you may not yet have earned enough money to pay all of the taxes that will be imposed on you this year.

    April 15, 2014

  • Letter: The glib tongue, the fake smile

    A recent Daily Citizen column by Walter Williams will both awaken and frighten any thinking person who claims even a smidgen of knowledge about — or belief in —  either the Bible, world history or current events.

    April 15, 2014

  • College soccer team would bring local talent together

    Dreams of combining the best soccer players from all local high schools into one team finally could come true.

    April 13, 2014

  • Letter: Primaries feature many choices

    Many people are confused this year about the May 20 Election Day. Unfortunately, very few voters in Whitfield County actually go to the polls for a primary election. But this means any increase in participation can have a significant impact.

    April 12, 2014

  • Letter: Hooper for Murray chief magistrate

    Thanks to all the wonderful people and friends who backed me for District 1 Murray County Board of Education. You sure showed a lot of support. Sorry I had to step down due to my and my wife’s health. I am a lot better now.

    April 12, 2014

  • Judicial dispute could have been avoided

    Judicial elections in Whitfield and Murray counties tend to be low key. In fact, we can’t recall the last time an incumbent judge on the Conasauga Superior Court, which cover the two counties, has even faced a challenger.

    April 12, 2014

  • Citizen of the Week: Jonathan Rose

    Running for exercise is a popular hobby among many local residents, but at least one racing enthusiast plans to take his fun a step further today.

    April 11, 2014