On New Year's Day, the national parks community suffered a great loss as Ranger Margaret Anderson at Mount Rainier National Park was tragically shot and killed. Like you, I was shocked and saddened that the places we cherish, and the brave people who safeguard them, could be victim to such a tragedy.
Margaret was an 11-year veteran of the National Park Service, working at Bryce Canyon National Park and C&O Canal National Historical Park before her time at Mount Rainier. Her husband Eric is also a National Park Ranger, having served in Shenandoah, Rocky Mountain, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone and Mount Rainier national parks throughout his career.
Margaret and Eric's service and sacrifice reminds us of the importance and commitment of our Rangers. These individuals, from all walks of life, serve our country as proud stewards of our nation's most valuable treasures. They teach us. They inspire us. They protect us. They serve as the trusted guardians not only of these sacred places, but of the countless people that visit them.
As many of you have noticed, the National Park Foundation emblem features the iconic National Park Ranger hat — a symbol of pride, guardianship and protection. As the official non-profit partner to National Park Service, we are proud to support and honor the bravery, tradition and excellence of the men and women we call Rangers.
The National Park Foundation has established a memorial fund to benefit the children of Margaret and Eric Anderson. I hope you will join us in honoring Margaret’s memory.