A group of Marines at Camp Pendleton braved a wildfire burn that was creeping up First Sergeant’s Hill in San Mateo, Calif., to save a sacred set of memorial crosses that are part of a long-standing display aimed at remembering their fallen.
Cpl. Marvin Arnold told the Marine Corps Times that he noticed smoke heading toward the memorial site and rushed to gather volunteers.
“From a distance, you could see one or two of the crosses and we knew they were going to catch on fire if we didn’t get them,” he said, adding that he and a handful of other Marines hopped in some trucks to carry the crosses away from harm’s way, the newspaper reported.
“When we were pulling the last two of them out, we were at the edge of the hill, and the fire was perhaps 30 feet away from us,” Cpl. Arnold said, the Marine Corps Times reported. Shortly after, fire did burn across the hill, he said.
Roughly two dozen crosses are part of the display and represent the fallen who hailed directly from Pendleton — four that Mr. Arnold said he knew personally and who died on the same day of fighting in 2010.