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Ceremonial signing creates firefighter memorial

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, front, signs a bill into law establishing a memorial for fallen firefighters, Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in Phoenix. Last month 19 firefighters were killed battling the Yarnell wildfire near Prescott, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer says firefighters and first responders put their lives on the line every day in ``service and sacrifice.''

Her remarks came Tuesday as the governor held a ceremonial bill-signing to create a memorial for firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

"Scores of Arizona first responders have been killed in the line of duty over the years, and we will remember all of them always," said Brewer.

The memorial is set to be built at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza adjacent to the state Capitol in Phoenix.

According to the Arizona Firefighters and Paramedics Memorial Commission, they are looking to raise $1.2 million to go towards construction costs.

Plans of the memorial are not yet available, but it will include the names of all the fallen and an area were people can sit and reflect.

"It's the families, the children the spouses. We need to give them a place to remember," said Rick DeGraw, head of AFPMC.

The Legislature passed the bill earlier this year.

The ceremonial signing comes as a national team of investigators is looking into the June 30 deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona.

The Prescott-based Granite Mountain Hotshots crew died while battling a wildfire outside Yarnell when thunderstorms caused winds to shift erratically, cutting off their escape route. One member of the crew survived.

Brewer called them ``19 of Arizona's best and bravest.''

KTAR's Sandra Haros contributed to this report.

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