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Memorial flag honoring Granite Mountain Hotshot stolen from mother

Gayemarie Ekker displays the flag, which bears his name, every year from June 25 to July 7 in memory of those who lost their lives in 2013

By FireRescue1 Staff

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Police are looking for a stolen memorial flag belonging to one of the mothers of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots killed during the Yarnell Fire in 2013.

The Cedar City Police Department is looking for two stolen flags that belong to Gayemarie Ekker, the mother Joe Thurston, of one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. One of the flags is a red memorial flag Ekker flies every year from June 25 to July 7.

“Joe loved being a firefighter,” Ekker said. “His nickname with the crew was ‘Utah.’”

Police officers posted on Facebook asking for information on the stolen flags, 12 News reported.

To Ekker, the flag, which bears Thurston’s name, means so much more. She said she received the flag at the first memorial for the fallen firefighters.

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