Firefighters nationwide make trek to Prescott memorial

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Firefighters from across the country continue making the pilgrimage to the memorial at Prescott's Station 7, the home of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Some of them have finished their tours on the Yarnell Hill Fire, which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters, and are now working in Prescott preparing for Tuesday's memorial.

"It's a service to honor our brothers who gave the ultimate sacrifice, to honor and remember what they do, and them as people," Andrew McNicoll told 3TV.

McNicoll is a Hotshot based in Southern California and spent the day selling purple bracelets outside a grocery store to raise money for the fallen firefighters' families.

Other firefighters are driving all night to be in Prescott by the start of the memorial Tuesday morning.

More than 200 members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department are boarding buses after midnight. Many of them knew Kevin Woyjeck, one of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.

"I watched him grow up," Chief Daryl Osby said. "He was unique because he knew at an early age what he wanted to do, which was become a firefighter like his father."

Woyjeck's father is a captain with the L.A. County Fire Dept.

"He trained with us. We saw him daily. He worked on an ambulance company, so we became real close to him," added Inspector Keith Mora, also of L.A. County, who arrived Monday in Prescott.

The tickets to the memorial were given to the 19 families. The rest of the seats in the Tim's Toyota Center Arena in Prescott Valley were given to firefighters.