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Updated Jul 10, 2013 - 8:07 am

Lest we forget

Even if you didn't have time for the ceremonies in Prescott Valley carried live Tuesday, I'm sure you've seen or heard some part of the services replayed since.

Moving, deeply emotional, often heartbreaking and certainly never to be forgotten in our lifetime. For more than a week I've been struggling with any answer to the questions that we've all asked: How do the families cope with the suddenness and immensity of their loss? What do they tell the kids, most of whom are too young to comprehend the reality of someone being gone forever?

How will Brendan McDonough handle the complexities that are attached to the phrase "sole survivor?" And, can there be any possible value, any legacy attached to the loss of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots?

Perhaps. For quite a while now I've noticed a genuine respect shown by the general public toward our people in uniform.

The phrase "Thank you for your service" is regularly shared with those who have ever spent time in the military. Could the Yarnell Hill tragedy be the etched memory that reminds us to offer the same gratitude to the firefighters and police officers we meet? We could start now.

Thank you, hotshots ... rest well.

I'm Pat McMahon.

For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to

About the Author

He's done it all -- and keeps doing it. His career in local Arizona radio and television dates back the late 60s. Pat always stimulates with his thought provoking, opinionated, and entertaining commentaries on the Arizona Morning News while hosting award-winning talkshows like "The McMahon Group" and "The God Show."

"The McMahon Group" features an unpredictable all-star panel where three people from the community get together and give their thoughts on the news of the week. He also hosts "The God Show" on Sunday's where he talks about all aspects of spirituality.

Pat is also well known outside of radio because of his multifaceted career as an actor, producer, recording artist, writer, broadcaster, and one-third of the legendary comedy team that was on TV for 35 years in Arizona, "The Wallace and Ladmo Show."

Through the many experiences of his professional life, Pat has been richly rewarded with 7 Emmys, major national and international radio awards as well as numerous civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards. Pat was also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University, the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime achievement Award, and has his bronze likeness hanging in the rotunda of the Herberger Theater in recognition of his contributions to Communications & The Arts.


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