Beyond the Ashen Clouds

Beneath the ashen clouds of smoke, they bravely marched their way toward battle
With their packs full of preparation, they took each step with purpose
The intense heat of an Arizona June held its guard against them
Inciting the dry desert brush to add fuel to the mounting winds of fire
Nineteen men on a warrior’s mission moved ahead in an effort to thwart destruction

Beneath the ashen clouds of smoke, they were in the ultimate battle with nature
Taking courage from their packs they ventured deeper into the canyon
Lead and follow would be their compass for survival, united in their bravery against the enemy, measuring each move that might bring them closer to a final chance at victory

Beneath the ashen clouds of smoke, with no end in sight they joined in sovereignty
Laying upon the earth with quenching prayers to face the endless fight
But the fury of a wildfire takes care of its own, blazing its own path toward salvation, where nature holds no mercy for the plights of man

Beneath the ashen clouds of smoke, today we remember their sacrifice
Honoring the lives of those men who scorched the mountaintop with their bravery, we summon our own inner strength to bear witness to their courage

Time has moved us forward, while the mountain remains in place, resilient to it all, if only to hold their memories alongside us, acquiescing to our loss
Nature shows us that seeds of renewal lie beneath the ashes, so we offer prayers of gratitude and hope, knowing the spirit of the fallen ones continue to keep watch beyond the ashen clouds of smoke