SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

July 10, 2013

'Bless my Hotshot crew': Survivor speaks at vigil

(Continued)

Two tolls of a bell rang out as each firefighter’s name was called, and a member of his family stood up in the audience.

An honor guard that included alumni of the Granite Mountain Hotshots carried the flags and Pulaski tools through the aisles, turning to face the family members who accepted the items on behalf of the firefighters.

Some of the family members then hugged others next to them, as the men’s pictures flashed on screens overhead and the choir began singing “You Raise Me Up.”

Other photos showed the men playing with their children, riding bikes, carrying crew members on their backs, hanging out at camp and in close encounters with fire.

Biden offered the families some solace as he wrapped up his remarks.

“As unbelievable as it is to even fathom ... the day will come when the memory of your husband, your son, or your dad or your brother will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye,” he said. “My prayer for all of you is that that day will come sooner than later, but I promise you as unbelievable as it is, it will come.”

Biden met privately with family members after the memorial.

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