Tuesday, July 2, 2013

OSG High: Prescott High FB Coach Remembers His Hotshots

((HT: AZCentral.com))

In small towns, losses are more personal and magnified...

When 19 firefighters, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, lost their lives in the Yarnell Hill Fire over the weekend the town of Prescott is now associated with one of the worst firefighter disasters in United States history- the worst since the 1930's near Los Angeles.

As the town readies for Rodeo Days, a procession left Prescott for Phoenix yesterday where the firefighters were to be examined and prepared for funerals. The road was dotted with supporters and those who mourned along the roadside remembered first-hand how fragile life can be and how brave those men were.

Some of those lost were locals and attended Prescott High School. Mark Curtis caught up with the former head football coach at Prescott, Lou Benneitone, who admits the last few days have been difficult.

The 126th annual World’s Oldest Rodeo runs through this weekend and, traditionally, draws more than 35,000 visitors. Rodeo spokeswoman Marty Borgelt said one tribute planned at Saturday’s Frontier Days parade is to have a riderless horse with boots backward in the stirrups.

In the United States, the caparisoned horse is part of the military honors given to an Army or Marine Corps officer who was a colonel or above. Usually, the appearance is of black riding boots reversed in the stirrups. The visual represents a fallen leader looking back on his troops for the last time.

You may remember the caparisoned horse last appeared for President Reagan during his procession in Washington, DC.

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