At 1:00pm on Tuesday, January 10, dozens of Mount Rainier National Park employees, volunteers, and family members will gather at Olson Auditorium at Pacific Lutheran University to honor the life of their friend and colleague, Margaret Anderson. An Incident Management Team has been working hard this week to choose and prepare this venue for the thousands of people from other agencies and the public who are expected to attend, and it seems like there are at least a dozen issues to solve for each of those thousands of guests. More questions are resolved every day. Here is what we know so far, and what we don't yet but hope to pass on to you soon:
Where, when, and whom
The public service will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 in Olson Auditorium at Pacific Lutheran University. The auditorium holds about 3,000 people and we expect more than that, so there will be "overflows to our overflows," in the words of our team leader. We will not limit attendance; it is "come one, come all."
Representatives from dozens of agencies will be present, including, of course, the National Park Service and Mount Rainier National Park in particular. All employees, including volunteers, who wish to attend are encouraged to do so.
Should I RSVP?
Employees should RSVP through their supervisor so that we know how many seats to reserve. Volunteers should RSVP by e-mail either to Volunteer Program Manager Kevin Bacher or to the e-mail address that has been set up for this incident, MountRainierInfo@gmail.com. Let us know, too, if you'll be accompanied by a spouse or partner.
The Uniform of the Day
Our goal is to have as many employees in uniform as possible, to honor Margaret. Here are the protocols for various types of employees, including volunteers:
- Uniformed Employees: The uniform of the day will be the winter service dress uniform (“Class A”) and felt hat, including dress coat (Ike jacket) and tie if available. Employees who do not have a complete Class A uniform may wear their nicest winter uniform. If a uniform is being worn, do not wear any non-uniform items, i.e. blue jeans with park shirt, non uniform hat, belts, shoes, etc.
- Non-Uniformed Employees: Please wear nice formal clothing, just as you would for any similar event. If you own a nametag, please wear it.
- Volunteers: Volunteers may wear their normal standard VIP uniform. If you have a nametag, please wear it.
- Seasonal employees not currently working: Please wear a complete winter uniform including nametag and felt hat, even if you do not have a badge. If you do not own a winter uniform, please wear a complete summer uniform including nametag and straw hat.
Will employees and volunteers have preferential seating?
Yes, but the details of who will sit where are still being worked out. I'll pass them on as soon as they're available. Please RSVP, as described above, so that we know how many seats to reserve.
Where and when should we show up?
Those details are still being worked out. However, expect to be asked to arrive well in advance of the 1:00 ceremony, in order to receive instructions on where to sit and how to participate in the service.
What will the ceremony include?
Those details are still being planned. The ceremony will follow traditions long established for honoring law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty, but will also include elements that honor Margaret's life and the things that were important to her, including her faith.
I've heard you're looking for photographs?
That's true. We're looking for photos to include in a slide show about Margaret during the service. If you have images to contribute, please send them, as soon as possible, to MountRainierInfo@gmail.com.
What route will the procession follow, and who will be included?
The procession will begin at Mountain View Funeral Home in Lakewood and end at PLU; however, the route and nature of the entourage are still being planned.
Where can I get more information?
Watch this blog, of course; but there are also several other places to find out about upcoming events, network with others, and even leave messages of remembrance. Here's as complete a list as I'm aware of at this time. Most of these sources are not maintained by the National Park Service.
- Employee information blog: MORAemployees.blogspot.com.
- Employee phone line: Dial 360-569-2211, then 9, for updated employee information.
- Quick updates via e-mail or text message: Follow the links under Margaret's photo on the park's Intranet page (only available within the park's network) to sign up for these alerts.
- Email address for questions, condolences, photos, and offers of help: MountRainierInfo@gmail.com.
- Facebook Memorial Page: In Memory of NPS Ranger Margaret Anderson.
- Officer Down Memorial Page: Margaret's page is here.
- Mountain View Funeral Home: Messages of condolence may be left here.
- Margaret Anderson Memorial Page: http://margaretandersonmemorialpage.weebly.com/index.html.
- Donations: make contributions for the Anderson family in person at any Key Bank branch, or mail them to the Margaret Anderson Donation Fund at P.O. Box 159, Eatonville, Washington 98328.
- Letters to the family: Notes and letters may be sent to the family c/o Superintendent, Mount Rainier National Park, 55210 238th Ave E, Ashford, WA 9804.
- Food donations: At Eric's request, offers of food should be coordinated through the Eatonville Fire Department. The contact person at the Fire Department is Mark Quirie at 360-832-6931.
- Candlelight vigil: There will be a Candlelight Vigil for Margaret on Sunday, January 8 at 5pm at the
Eatonville Early Learning Center (Yellow Daycare), at 560 Center Street E, Eatonville, WA 98328.
- Resources for dealing with your grief: All employees, including volunteers, are welcome to take advantage of our Critical Incident Stress Management Team. The team is
available in the Tahoma Woods housing area's community room and Longmire employee lounge from 2-4 pm every day. You may also join us every week day, at least for the time being, for employee meetings at 9am at the Education Center at Tahoma Woods.
- [Added 6:30 pm:] Donations to the National Park Foundation in Margaret's name may be made here.