Joe Biden Speaks at Arizona Firefighter Memorial

The vice president honors those who lost their lives fighting Arizona wildfire.
25:08 | 07/09/13

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Transcript for Joe Biden Speaks at Arizona Firefighter Memorial
This is a special group. Report from ABC news. And Democrats are New York with a CBC news digital special report thousands of fire. On -- right now. Their respects to nineteen fallen firefighters who lost their lives -- from the -- the wildfire. Vice president Joseph Biden foods at the podium offering his respect. To reduce -- -- Our heart goes out to you in the -- -- People Christians and people of Arizona. -- terrible tragedy you have. Endured. -- -- -- -- Prison -- hill. My good close for imprisoned Shafer grew up. We have unfortunately -- too many stages. Like this. Honoring. Fallen firefighters. -- -- -- Thank. And to the governor Mexico my friend -- moratinos. These seven members of congress are here particular Christian who was kind enough to meet -- the airport and welcome me. To Arizona to. To Jeff to senator Jeff -- We rode out and are forced to together. A genuine so Arizona. Five generations. And you my friend then. Companion. For over three decades. -- and I admire. -- much as any man I've -- -- John McCain. John -- more and more. My mom. Used to say. You define. By your courage. And redeem. By their loyalty. I think if you know better definition is John McCain. And that. The man. Like the men we honor today. Many -- uncommon. Valor. -- -- -- -- Two secretaries who they're with us today. Your former governor and the secretary of the interior. Secretary jewel. We. -- -- -- To be here -- you. Standing in front of the family -- Then we honor today. And so many. So many -- brother. This song. When Tony to -- Wineries. I will lift mine eyes into the hills. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- The four room twenty -- mountain granite mountain hot chips. Who rushed. Toward the slain -- As everyone else. Retreated. In the process. Nineteen of them. Gave their lives. These men. For some of the strong ha. Most disciplined. Tenacious. Physically fit men. In the world. -- -- -- In every. -- sense of that phrase. Their motto going to be some -- ma. Better than anything I can think. Duty. Integrity. Respect. It's all other jobs not -- jobs. But as a duty. A duty. To their fellow citizens. They understood what you do that integrity. Integrity is measured by whether you're responds ha. To the needs of your neighbor. When you know. You are one of the few. And only wants -- to capacity. To respond. And respect. They showed respect time and again for those innocents caught in the press to the fires ago. Desperate. To save their families. And in most cases the woman and only thing they truly own their home. These men. The granite mountain hot shots. We're part of various law. Elite band of firefighters. Only 108. Hot shot crews and all of America. Admit it. We're here today. Under the full. To understand. When I mean about their courage valor just look in the eyes. Of these men women. This look in their lives. You need not do anything else. Understand. These folks for firefighters. Who live life to the fullest every single day. They raced to embrace life just as they raced to embrace. -- against -- regime fires. The raging fire on -- -- hill. We embrace life. To save lives. I didn't have the privilege snorted -- -- the provision -- any one of these heroes personally. But I know. I know. Cliff jumper rock climber mountain light -- football player and Iraqi -- -- a marine the son of a firefighter all I know. -- Committed determined trustworthy fashion if they were fired quite. I noted because. They say. The life of my two sons. New tractor trailer broadsided mind. Daughter. My wife and my daughter and my two sons. My wife and daughter -- But. For a march fire service. My two sons would have put the jaws of life working for over an hour and a half. Save. They saved. My god. My fire. Michael Clarke. They saved my life. When the middle of a snowstorm I had to be rushed to a hospital given up 30% chance of living. With a cranial injuries and ms. -- fire company. -- -- You saved. -- home. And my wife -- When lightning struck my home and engulf all three floors. The -- of smoke that no contender. But thank god one could leave. Fuel and I know you. You're rare breed. There's an old saying. All men are created -- -- And then. Once you became firefighters. All men and Mercury vehicle but then. A few. Became fire. Thank god for you'll. Thank god. For your willingness. To take the risk you do. We only. We also. -- your friends. My left to -- right. Because you supported the. You support it. These hot shots. The English -- John Milton road. They also serve. Who only stated in weight. They also serve. Who only -- morning. Nine teen who fell. We're not only heroes on Sunday. June 30. 2013. To you the families. There -- heroes. Long before we knew their -- You not only. No -- Now feeling you're very bones. The meaning of the words of John chapter 151 thirteen. Greater love hath no man and then this. That a man lay down his life for his friends. What makes you -- numbers so incredible. Husbands. And issues in the wives. The moms the dads. Children -- Brothers and sisters. -- -- -- Since they chose to be firefighters sends. They doing -- hotshot crew you knew. -- -- -- Laying down their lives every single time -- -- you call. Every time they walked out the door. You knew it may be the last time -- You see they're confident smiles feel that that tender touch that. -- that -- saying. I love you. I love. From the time they breached the doors. You lived in fear. -- of that dreaded phone call. -- the worst. And when it came. -- in laws. More more profound. Did you ever imagine. I know. I remember getting their call. The feeling of being sucked into a giant for you do your chest. The attempt to suspend. Reality this sense of slow motion. My god this kid. Be true. Yet. He supported the. Because you knew. That fire fighting it was not what they did. It was who they work. They now. He loved ones. Join an incredible list of elite firefighters. In the long history. Filled with the ordinary Americans doing extraordinary. Extraordinary. Days. -- of undaunted courage Connolly law. And I don't -- stubborn about perseverance. In the face of unfathomable. Challenge. You know we. Teach your children. That these qualities. Courage and resolve perseverance. These -- these qualities during -- In our national character -- Americans. And I believe they are. I believe they haven't -- our national identity and I believe. America will continue to do you define. By the example. Of the nineteen. Nineteen. Ordinary. Men and who did. Extraordinary things. The amazing thing is there's not one of them -- The danger they face not one review in front of me doubt. Danger you'll face from a call comes again. And yet. You will only take the risks. -- the call. -- -- They responded as they always did. Running toward danger. Not away from. -- The human instinct they acted. They acted as citizens patriots. Have active since the beginning in this country they stood up and they stood their ground. Who we think. The nineteen. That gives us confidence. As -- people confidence knowing that ordinary citizens have the capacity do such extraordinary. Things. To stare down fear. Overwhelmed danger. -- bring hope. There's nothing that hopelessness. Although Richard continue to -- us when it happens. It shouldn't surprise and these acts of selflessness. Or definition houllier. For your husband your brother. Yourself and your father. -- My guess is without knowing -- There weren't there just to fight fire. There there don't mind the Little League field. -- there. Would somebody's car broke down. They were there they were there. They're always there. Mother and other expressions -- Joey. Courage lies in every heart. In the expectation is. -- one day will be some. -- on Sunday June 30 2013. It was -- Twenty incredible men -- -- answered the call and doing so. To paraphrase. Jones fifteen chapter 23 laid down their lives. So that others could live nineteen. And I know. We knew. All of them were heroes long before his -- as. We knew that. They're the father's. Truck junior dead at -- it. -- husband. Who knew your fears. Before you even had to express them. The brother. -- -- -- -- -- made you smile. There -- soon. The approach -- jury just seen -- face. Made you proud. And grateful to god. That you had. We know the irreplaceable. We all know that. We know is well. You know memorial service. No words no ax. -- memorial -- your hearts. We're also -- the collective spirit of your father son brother your husband. That spirit lives on in every single one of you. -- -- -- -- Not only 6000 people here in the thousands outside but the millions. The millions watch. -- about. Your family members. As I speak. -- lives on the character of the hot shots assembled here today. News on the part of -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- We owe you the family's. Future -- dead. Far beyond what we can never -- I also know from personal experience at this moment. As unbelievable. As it is. As unbelievable loses even -- That the day will come. -- the memory. Of your husband. Your son your dad your brother. We'll bring your smile. -- your lips. Before it brings. The two -- Iraq. My prayer for all of you. -- that they won't come. Sooner than later but I promise -- As unbelievable as it is it will come. It will come. In the words of -- him. We heard at the beginning. My hope for -- -- that may lift you up on eagle's wings. Bear you on the breath and don't. Make -- sun to shine. Because it will. It will again. Will again. May god bless you all. Pentagon and gracious family members. And every family member know. There's an entire family. And brotherhood and sisterhood of firefighters. Couldn't be there for you. The rest of your lives. God bless you all. -- may god protect firefighters. Everywhere. -- wildfire. This is the last of a series of vigils before the bodies of those nineteen firefighters -- laid to rest. Funerals. Begin later this week. Those firefighters killed. It is the highest death -- -- first responders since the September 11 attacks and the largest number of firefighters killed while battling a wildfire. Since 1933. Now those fallen members of the hot -- crew are being remembered -- -- fellow firefighters from across the country. Vice presidents and the governor -- Continue to -- this service. Stock company. Reading of the hot shots prayer by the sole survivor. And Brandon McDonald and now I'm Dan -- -- -- -- Okay. Okay. Saying okay. -- -- okay. A news. Okay. Time G. In the. And I. -- -- -- Okay. Okay. -- -- Okay. -- -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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