PHOENIX - Sen. John McCain attended a memorial service Tuesday honoring the 19 fallen heroes who perished in the Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy.
After attending, McCain joined News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Mac & Gaydos and shared his feelings over the memorial service that took place in Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Ariz.
"I'm deeply moved…the vice president made an excellent statement of sympathy. Everything was very moving and very appropriate."
He praised the fallen heroes and said they were brave people.
"Only thing we can say is, ‘we're proud of them' and…it's our belief, certainly mine, that we'll see them again, and they're genuine heroes."
McCain said that not only the state, but the whole country came together on Tuesday to grieve the hotshot firefighters.
"The whole state has come together, and not only the whole state, but we had firefighters who are here paying their respects from all over the country. It's a remarkable expression of sympathy and support."
Commenting on Brendan McDonough, the sole surviving hotshot, McCain pointed out that his comrades would have wanted him to be brave despite the pain of loss.
"He grieves enormously, but again he knows that his comrades would want him to be brave and celebrate their lives."
Gaydos then asked him what, if anything, will stick with him after the ceremony. McCain said that no other country celebrates its heroes like America does, and that pride in being an American was something that stuck with him.
"That thing that sticks in your mind is how proud you are to be an American."
McCain also mentioned that he would be introducing legislation that would seek to work on long-term forest thinning that could potentially help firefighters during a fire.