By Pat Jenkins
With a final push in Washington, D.C., the way has been cleared for Eatonville’s post office to be renamed in memory of a Mount Rainier National Park ranger who died in the line of duty.
Behind the urging of U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, the Senate approved the name change by unanimous consent last Wednesday.
The action came two weeks after Murray and Cantwell sent a letter to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, urging him to move the legislation out of the committee so it could be voted on by the full Senate.
Naming the post office for Margaret Anderson is a fitting tribute, Murray and Cantwell said last week in a joint statement after the Senate’s vote.
Anderson, 34, was shot and killed Jan. 1, 2012 while establishing a roadblock to stop a motorist who drove through a mandatory checkpoint in the park for vehicle tire chains without stopping. The driver shot Anderson, a law enforcement ranger, before fleeing on foot. After an armed manhunt, searchers found him dead the next day of exposure to the winter elements.
Anderson lived in Eatonville with her husband, who also was a park ranger at the mountain, and their two children. After her death, her family moved out of state.
The original proposal to rename the post office was made by U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, whose district includes Eatonville. The House of Representatives approved that legislation in November 2012.
Information wasn’t immediately available from U.S. Postal Service officials on the next steps or a timeline for when the name change would be completed.