On Sunday, residents of Yarnell, Ariz., were told they could return home after a deadly wildfire engulfed their town for nine days. On Tuesday in Prescott, the neighboring town, residents and family mourned 19 of their elite firefighting force that wouldn't be coming home.

At a memorial service for the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in last week's fire, Vice President Joe Biden joined Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Sen. John McCain and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to speak to 1,000 of the Hotshots' family members and alumni.

Biden quoted Psalm 122:1 before recalling his own family tragedy. Weeks after he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, Biden's wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident in Hockessin, Del. His two sons survived, rescued by firefighters.

"I didn't have the privilege of knowing any one of these heroes personally," he said of the Hotshots. "But I know them... I know them because they saved the life of my two sons," he said.