Thursday, June 24, 2010

Murdered Park Ranger Remembered on The Blue Ridge Parkway

The following is taken from the National Park Service Morning Report for June 24, 2010-
Rangers salute Joe Kolodski and his sacrifice at the site of his murder, Big Witch Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway NPS photo.

This past Monday, June 21st, marked the twelfth anniversary of the murder of Ranger Joe Kolodski.
Kolodski, a ranger at Great Smoky Mountains, was shot and killed responding to a report of a man with a rifle threatening visitors at Big Witch Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway. He was ambushed and shot as he stood beside his patrol car.
At 2:50 p.m., the time at which Kolodski was killed, over 25 rangers and officers from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains, and nearby cooperating agencies, gathered at the site. The Blue Ridge and Smokies dispatch centers broadcast notices asking for a moment of silence to remember the tragedy and to honor the sacrifice he made.
On a memorial outside the Blue Ridge Parkway Headquarters Building, the following words are inscribed: "On June 21, 1998, while protecting visitors from harm, United States Park Ranger Joseph D. Kolodski was slain in the line of duty. His service and sacrifice to the National Park Service and the people of this country will never be forgotten."
By continuing to remember, we continue to learn and grow as an agency and as a team. Please take a moment to honor Joe by remembering him and the sacrifice he and his family made; Joe left behind a wife, Florie, and three children, Rachel, Sarah, and Samuel.

Name: Lena Boesser-Koschmann, Assistant Chief Ranger

Joe, your sacrifice is not forgotten.

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