I can never know the pain and sorrow that is now inflicted on the family of Margaret Anderson. Her close friends and co-workers are sharing in this grief filled emotional roller coaster.
Although I no longer wear the green and gray of a National Park Ranger, those colors still run strong in my blood and Margaret’s death takes one more piece of my sense of sanity in the world. I believe I speak for every present and past Park Ranger when I say that the loss of Margaret Anderson has reverberated through us all and left an indelible mark on our hearts.
Eventually there will be opportunities for contributions to be made to aid Margaret’s family in caring for her husband and two young daughters she has left behind. I will pass this information on when it becomes available. I hope many of you can find a way to help out. In the mean time, let us not forget the ultimate sacrifice made by Margaret Anderson doing what she dedicated her life to that was for the benefit of every one of us.
After working in law enforcement as a National Park Ranger for more than thirty two years I have developed a patina of cynicism and do not normally find sympathy for anyone who would kill another human let alone a law enforcement officer. In this case I do find myself reflecting on the second edge of this blade stabbed into society’s heart in that the suspected shooter, Benjamin Colton Barnes, appears to have been a young, troubled, military veteran of the war in Iraq. This is another tragic story in itself.
When such appalling events occur in National Parks many feel a deep concern as if it happened in their own back yard for the National Parks do belong to all Americans.
My thoughts here are rambling, but I find that being a condition of my grief. Today and everyday may we all say a prayer of support for Margaret Anderson’s family.
|US Park Ranger Margaret Anderson|