Firefighter Memorial Draws Thousands

Thousands of people gathered at a high school in Prescott, Arizona, on Tuesday night to honor the 19 firefighters who were killed battling raging forest fires in the state. Nineteen purple balloons—one for each firefighter—were released during the ceremony, which had a notably religious tone. Earlier this week President Obama and one-time opponent Sen. John McCain of Arizona put their differences aside to memorialize the fallen fighters. “They were heroes,” the president said in a statement, “highly skilled professionals who, like so many across our country do every day, selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to protect the lives and property of fellow citizens they would never meet.”