Originally Published: September 29, 2013 6 a.m.
Prescott College invites the community to the dedication of an alligator juniper tree on Monday, in memory of the 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots Monday.
The event starts at 10:30 a.m. on campus in the Crossroads Center Community Room.
Special guests include Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo and Carmen Whitted Alvey, former college staff member and sister to fallen hotshot Clayton Whitted.
Prescott College provided housing and food to many of the 19 families who came to the hotshot memorial services in July, as well as the memorial's incident command team, other hotshots from around the country, and several members of the honor guard.
The campus provided quiet space off the beaten path, yet still central to the city, for families to be together and first responders to decompress. The few staff and faculty who interacted with the families, mostly driving them to and from services, were moved to do something special to memorialize the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
"After some discussion, the college has decided that an appropriate memorial would be to plant an alligator juniper tree in their memory," college President Kristin R. Woolever said. "We are trying to do our small part to assure that the Granite Mountain Hotshots live on as heroes in our memory."
The Prescott hotshot crew saved a nearly 1,000-year-old alligator juniper tree - co-record holder for the largest of its kind in the country - during its assignment to the Doce Fire near Prescott just prior to its work on the Yarnell Hill Fire.
On the three-month anniversary of the tragedy that claimed all but one of the members of this brave crew, Prescott College will dedicate a young alligator juniper tree in its campus commons that will grow and flourish in their honor for generations to come. Refreshments will follow a brief dedication at the tree site.
Guests are asked to park in the lots at the corner of Grove and Western avenues.