DISASTERS

Thousands mourn firefighters killed battling wildfires in Washington state

  • A Washington State Patrol trooper holds a state flag to be presented to the family as he stands near a portrait of Thomas Zbyszewski at a memorial service for three firefighters killed in a wildfire, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Wenatchee, Wash. Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Zbyszewski died Aug. 19 in a fire near Twisp, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    A Washington State Patrol trooper holds a state flag to be presented to the family as he stands near a portrait of Thomas Zbyszewski at a memorial service for three firefighters killed in a wildfire, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Wenatchee, Wash. Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Zbyszewski died Aug. 19 in a fire near Twisp, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)  (The Associated Press)

  • Audience members turn to depart following a memorial service for three firefighters killed in a wildfire, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Wenatchee, Wash. Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Thomas Zbyszewski died Aug. 19 in a fire near Twisp, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Audience members turn to depart following a memorial service for three firefighters killed in a wildfire, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Wenatchee, Wash. Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Thomas Zbyszewski died Aug. 19 in a fire near Twisp, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)  (The Associated Press)

  • Family members, one carrying a fire tool given as a remembrance, are escorted out following a memorial service for three firefighters killed in a wildfire, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Wenatchee, Wash. Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Thomas Zbyszewski died Aug. 19 in a fire near Twisp, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Family members, one carrying a fire tool given as a remembrance, are escorted out following a memorial service for three firefighters killed in a wildfire, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Wenatchee, Wash. Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Thomas Zbyszewski died Aug. 19 in a fire near Twisp, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)  (The Associated Press)

Several thousand people gathered Sunday to honor three U.S. Forest Service firefighters killed battling wildfires in Washington state.

Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in a eulogy says the three dedicated their lives to protecting national forests and the communities around them, and for that everyone should be grateful.

The memorial service for 20-year-old Tom Zbyszewski, 26-year-old Andrew Zajac, and 31-year-old Richard Wheeler took place in Wenatchee.

That's about 90 miles south of where they died Aug. 19 near Twisp in eastern Washington when flames consumed their crashed vehicle.

More than 80 vehicles took part in a procession leading to the memorial service Sunday where more than 100 firefighters stood at attention.

Dozens of civilians also took part, many holding U.S. flags and others with signs that said "You are heroes!"