The names of 11 National Park employees – two of them Mount Rainier National Park rangers – who died in the line of duty the past three years have been enshrined at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Margaret Anderson, Nick Hall and nine other NPS personnel who died between 2010 and 2012 were added to a memorial plaque at the agency’s headquarters during a ceremony last month.
The memorial honors 226 Park Service employees – from maintenance workers to park superintendents – who have died on the job dating to 1908, when Virgil McGoodwin perished after an accident at Platt National Park (now Chickasaw National Recreation Area) in Oklahoma.
Anderson, who lived in Eatonville, was shot by a gunman at Mount Rainier on New Year’s Day last year. Hall died last June when he fell while helping rescue stranded climbers on the mountain.
During the memorial ceremony in February, Park Service director Jon Jarvis spoke about each of the additions to the plaque. He noted that he has consoled families of park personnel five times during his career and that he hopes those who’ve not endured that experience will never have to in the future.
Park Service officials said that although most people at the ceremony didn’t personally know any of those whose names were being added to the plaque, it was evident that each person in attendance felt a sense of loss.
Jarvis was superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park for three years (1999-2001). Because of that, he feels an additional personal connection to the deceased rangers Anderson and Hall, said Kerry Kupper, a Park Service spokeswoman in Washington, D.C.
Jarvis attended memorial services for both of them – Anderson’s at Pacific Lutheran University and Hall’s at the park’s Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center.
Last month’s 20-minute ceremony included Jarvis removing an American flag that was draped over the memorial and then asking for a moment of silence.
In addition to Hall and Anderson, the commemorated fallen employees include Teddy Garrett of Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Rex Walker of Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Mason McLeod of Katmai National Park and Preserve, Neal Spradlin of Katmai National Park and Preserve, Seth Spradlin of Katmai National Park and Preserve, Julie Weir of Independence National Historical Park, Michael Boehm of Rock Creek Station, Chris Nickel of Hovenweep National Monument, and Dana Bruce of Blue Ridge Parkway.