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NEA, AEA presidents comment on loss of 19 firefighters in Ariz. wildfire blaze

Educators remember ‘courageous’ union brothers killed while working to save lives

Atlanta, GA - July 01, 2013 -

The following joint statement was issued on behalf of NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and AEA President Andrew Morrill on the loss of 19 firefighters, killed Sunday while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire, near northwest of Phoenix, Ariz.:

“Members of the National Education Association and the Arizona Education Association were deeply saddened to learn of last night’s tragedy in Arizona. We stand with the families and their loved ones in remembering the courageous firefighters—our union brothers—who were killed while working to save lives.

“We are deeply grateful to them for their commitment and dedication to the safety and well-being of the people of Arizona and the communities we call home. They are heroes.”


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About NEA

The National Education Association ( is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

About AEA

With more than 20,000 members, the Arizona Education Association ( is the largest professional organization in Arizona. AEA members are teachers, community college professors, counselors, speech pathologists, bus drivers, secretaries, retired educators and student teachers and they belong to more than 150 local affiliates across Arizona.


CONTACT: Staci Maiers, NEA
(202) 270-5333 cell