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Biden salutes 19 fallen Arizona firefighters

July 9, 2013 GMT

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden says the 19 Arizona firefighters killed in a wildfire were men of “uncommon valor” who rushed to save a town and gave their lives in the process.

Biden called the members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died June 30 some of the most disciplined, tenacious and physically fit men in the world. He added, “Firefighting is not what they did. It was who they were.”


The vice president made the remarks Tuesday at a memorial for the firefighters held in a packed 6,000-seat arena in Prescott Valley, Ariz. Thousands of firefighters and law enforcement officers from across the nation attended, along with the men’s families, Gov. Jan Brewer, and members of the state’s congressional delegation.

Biden praised the firefighters’ families for supporting what he called ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things despite the inherent dangers of their jobs.