For fallen Arizona firefighters, signs of respect

Sometimes, you just have to throw the Flag Code book out the window.

This photo that appeared anonymously on Facebook on Thursday, July 4, 2013, shows what officials confirmed to The Associated Press, as the 19 dead firefighters draped in American flags by Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher, shortly after they were found dead near Prescott, Ariz., on June 30, 2013. Several media outlets, including the Arizona Republic and USA Today, published the photo on Friday, July 5, 2013. Nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew died Sunday, June 30, 2013 fighting the Yarnell Hills Fire, about 40 miles southwest of Prescott. (AP Photo)

The deaths of the Yarnell firefighters last week also provided an unusual display of grief and honor and sincere respect that the region has for the men who died fighting the wildfire.

Yesterday, 19 hearses wound their way along canyon roads and through the towns …

Associated Press

… where people did they only thing they could do: drop everything they were doing and pay some respect.

Associated Press

It was more than 100 degrees on the route from Phoenix to Prescott. People lined overpasses. The widow and family of a police officer, killed a few months ago, stood along Carefree Highway. An honor guard has stayed with the caskets since Monday.

“They are never left alone — not even for a second,” said one of the guard. “They always have someone present with them.”