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Pat McMahon

Updated Jun 30, 2014 - 6:40 am

19

A tribute to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire in June 2013. (Jim Cross/KTAR)
We had just walked into a friend's home in the Bay Area when a television news report said that 19 wildland firefighters had perished fighting a blaze near Yarnell, Ariz. followed by a tagline of "details at 6:00."

I said to my wife that as tragic as any loss of life is, the report was, no doubt, mistaken -- 19 -- all dead, seemed almost impossible. A short time later we found out it was true. It was ghastly and heartbreaking.

The Granite Mountain Hotshots are being remembered Monday in moving tributes in Prescott and Yarnell and in the lives and minds of firefighters all over the world who understand far better than the rest of us. Every time I see the television coverage of a natural disaster -- tornadoes in the Midwest, hurricanes in Florida, annual flooding along the Mississippi -- I always wonder why those people keep coming back to the same areas of regular devastation. And they always answer the same way.

"Because it's our home."

Yarnell is changing. Burnt homes are being replaced. Lost firefighter babies have been born. But one thing that will be a part of every summer…the memory of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

I'm Pat McMahon

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 talk-shows like "The McMahon Group" and "The God Show."

"The Mc Mahon Group" features a very unpredictable all-star panel where 3 people from the community get together and give there thoughts on the news of the week. He also hosts "The God Show" on Sunday's which talks about all aspects of spirituality.

Pat is also well known outside of radio because of his multi-faceted 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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