YARNELL, AZ (3TV/ CBS 5) -- A moment of silence spoke a mighty meaning at Sunday’s memorial honoring the 19 brave Granite Mountain Hotshots that answered their last alarm to protect their community.
"I can't do this,” cried Lani Beyle whose home was saved in the Yarnell Hill Fire. Six years later, members of the Yarnell community, like Beyle, and family of the fallen still struggle with the sacrifice these heroes made.
"The fact that my house was saved and we lost 19-boys," said Beyle. "I would have rather of lost my house."
Lew Theokas lost his only grandson, Granite Mountain Hotshot Garret Zuppiger.
"We were hoping to fight the fire together. I'm a fireman and I was on my way back from a holiday. I just spoke with him that day and I said, ‘Save me some of the fire. I'll be there in two days.'" said Theokas. "And then I heard the heartbreaking news."
Theokas helped lead Sunday's memorial at the Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park, a dirt lot that will become a place of unity for the healing community to honor those 19 fallen heroes.
“It feels like it was yesterday. It helps the community to heal," said Beyle. "And along with that, not to forget what happened."
"I've shed my tears. Now I'm just trying to be the grandfather that he would have been happy to come and see," said Theokas. "I'm trying to be the man that he would have said, 'That's my grandpa! I love that guy! he's a great guy.'”
This 6-year anniversary is especially sentimental because it falls on a Sunday, the same day of the week when the hotshots perished.