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Margaret Anderson memorial: Public mourns

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Jan. 10, 2012 at 8:40 am |
January 10, 2012 3:42 pm
Lakewood Police Officer Ken Devaney salutes as the hearse carrying the body of Ranger Margaret Anderson goes through the intersection of South Steele Street and 112th Street South Tuesday morning. (Jeffrey P. Mayor/Staff photographer)

UPDATED 3:42 P.M.

Earlier I wrote about how the weather always seems to reflect the mood of the day. Well, I can’t imagine a better end to the ceremony than to walk out of the church and see Mount Rainier glistening in bright sunshine. The mountain looked just stunning.

UPDATED 3:01 P.M.

Anna Shuck made the trip from Port Orchard to Rainer View Christian Church to show support for Anderson, her family and coworkers. She was accompanied by her 4-year-old daughter Alyssa.

“There’s not much we can do but show our support by being here,” Shuck said in explaining why she made the trip.

The fact that Anderson is the mother of two young girls resonated with Shuck.

“As a mother, I was thinking of her children. I can’t imagine what they’re feeling.”

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2:52 p.m. – The casket was escorted out by family and NPS staffers. Honor guard is now filing out as the ceremony comes to a close. Outside the sun has come out.

2:46 p.m. – Radio dispatch calls for “741,” Anderson’s radio number.

2:44 p.m. – Jarvis slowly walks to Eric Anderson to give him the ranger hat.

2:42 p.m. – Salazar presents the flag to Eric Anderson.

2:39 p.m. – The ranger honor guard slowly removes the U.S. flag that draped the casket, folding it precisely, for presentation. A bagpiper plays “Amazing Grace,” joined by the rest of the pipers and four drummers after the first verse.

2:36 p.m. – As NPS ranger rings a bell 21 times as an honor guard of seven rangers salutes Anderson’s casket, then kneel before it.

2:33 p.m. – Salazar will present a flag to the family, while Jarvis will present a ranger hat. Taps was to be played by National Park Service Honor Guard John Eleby.

2:32 p.m. – The formal closing ceremonies are now starting, including a 21-bell salute and the “Last Call.”

2:31 p.m. – Pastor Gallimore gives the benediction.

2:30 p.m. – Steve Mazur now is speaking. Techincal issues here made it hard to follow his comments.

2:29 p.m. – “She will always be my hero, in life and in death. Rest now Margaret, there is a special place in heaven for heroes,” he concluded.

2:28 p.m. – “Today we share Eric’s grief and his pride.”

2:24 p.m. – “What made Margaret special was her integrity, her internal compass.”

2:21 p.m. – “I realized Margaret can influence people by making them better versions of themselves by modeling profesionalism and grace.”

2:20 p.m. – Recalled the first time he interviewed Anderson when he was looking for seasonal help at Bryce Canyon. She talked of her faith, family and her dream of becoming a park ranger.

2:19 p.m. – Robert Danno, a friend and coworker at previous parks, talks about Anderson.

2:18 p.m. – Gov. Chris Gregoire presents a flag to the family.

2:16 p.m. – Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Evans plays “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” on his trumpet. It is a song Anderson played on her trumpet for her parents’ 25th wedding anniversary.

2:15 p.m. – “Visitors and other park employees were saved by Margaret and the others that day. I know other lives were saved that day due to the bravery, professionalism of the rangers and all the others.”

2:14 p.m. – “Margaret cared about people and protecting the mountain.”

2:12 p.m. – Margaret worked to make sure every visitor and employee would receive good medical treatment if needed.

2:11 p.m. – “We were excited to have them join our team at Mount Rainier,” he said of the couple.

2:10 p.m. – Randy King, superintendent of the park since November, will now speak.

2:09 p.m. – “Her loss reverberates across all the lives of the people who knew here and the millions who have come to know her in these last few days.

“She had a passion for the park, her coworkers and the people who visit the park.”

2:05 p.m. – “Ranger Margaret Anderson left Pardise to do what she does best, protect others.”

2:04 p.m. – National Park Service Director Jon Jarivs speaks. He also is a former superintendent at Mount Rainier.

2 p.m. – Showed a photo montage of Anderson and her family, accomp\anied by the song “Remember When” by Alan Jackson and “I Will” by Alison Krause and Union Station.

1:59 p.m. – “Let us cherish God’s bounty for all the people for all time,” he said in conclusion.

1:59 p.m. – “We know her life will continue, it will continue through you, through all of our words and deeds.”

1:56 p.m. – “She saw the grace of God’s creatures large and small, and devoted her life to them. We wonder how many young eyes did she open to the wonder of these creations.”

1:55 p.m. – “Faith and compassion also inspire rangers to serve.”

1:54 p.m. – “We know our nation has lost a good and brave ranger.”

1:52 p.m.- He read a letter to Eric Anderson written by President Obama. “Our nation is grateful to those who risk their lives for the safety of others. Please know her dedication will live on in the lives of those she touched.”

1:51 p.m. – Today is a day of sadness, but it’s also a day of celebration. …

1:50 p.m. – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is speaking.

1:49 p.m. – He described her as a “Woman of light, joy and beauty.”

1:48 p.m. – Gallimore is speaking again. “Margaret lived that prayer (Make me an instrument of your peace). She is a child of God and as such God has reached out to her and claimed her.”

1:46 p.m. – They’ve lost the feed here at the church.

1:45 p.m. “Where was Jesus on New Year’s Day? He was there, he was working through Margaret to save others. … He is with us right now. Her life, her actions, her dying, Margaret would want you to know Jesus is with you always,” he said in conclusion.

1:43 p.m.- “She did it without thinking. She did it just like Christ gave His life, so that evil may be overcome,” he said of New Year’s Day.

1:40 p.m. – “We are and always will be proud of her.”

1:39 p.m. “She was an artist,” he said pointing to paintings on the stage Anderson did. One was of a wood duck that Anderson painted for her husband, Eric., also a law enforcement ranger at Mount Rainier.

1:35 p.m. – Her love of the outdoors developed while playing in the woods behind the Westfield, N.J., home.

1:34 p.m. – “She was always making her prescence known. She was also learning what a disciple of Christ does.”

1:32 p.m. – Pastor Paul Kristsch, Anderson’s father, wearing a red rose, speaks: “What you saw last Sunday was not an anomaly, that was Margaret.”

1:31 p.m. – Pastor Galen Gallimore, pastor of Anderson’s church – Bethany Lutheran Church of Spanaway, gave the invocation.

1:28 p.m.- The honor guard leaves the auditorium to the cadence of a drum.

1;26 p.m. – Hillsboro Police Department honor guard Sgt. Eric Bundy just sang the national anthem, as well as the Canadian national anthem. Anderson was born in Newmarket, Ontario, on Feb. 2, 1977.

1:18 p.m. – Even via video you can feel the reverberations of the drums and bagpipes as they march past Anderson’s casket.

1:14 p.m. – The family and other are being escorted to their seats. A varied kaleidescope of uniform colors when the camera shows the crowd.

1:10 p.m.- The honor guard approaches the casket as the service gets underway.

1:09 p.m.- On the stage next to the podium is a plaque in the shape of the National Park Service emblem, with the Service’s mission statement on it. Anderson certainly lived up to that credo.

1:05 p.m. – Other agencies in the procession were representing Moses Lake, Suquamish Tribe, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Sound Transit, Kalama, ATF and Skagit County.

1 p.m. – A little more than 50 people have gathered at Rainier View Christian Church to watch the service. Among them is a small contingent of cadets from South Pierce Fire and Rescue.

UPDATED AT 12:28 P.M.

It always amazes me how the weather can reflect the mood of a day like today.

As I drove toward Parkland this morning, there was heavy cloud cover but the one place you could see the morning sun was a small break in the clouds where Mount Rainier stood.

As the morning progressed, the clouds cleared and the sun offered some warmth and comfort.

Now, as we approach the start of the memorial service, the clouds have come back, with an occasional burst of sunshine.

Here are some of the other communities I saw represented during the procession: Port Angeles, Port Orchard, Eatonville, Redmond, Ruston, Federal Way, Buckley, Des Moines, Greenwater, Kalama, Rainier, DuPont, Centralia, Gig Harbor, Tulalip Tribe, Hanford-Department of Energy, Lynden and Edgewood.

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UPDATED AT 11:25 P.M.

People are starting to gather at Rainier View Christian Church, one of the venues the public has been asked to use to watch the memorial.

Already on hand is an honor guard in full dress uniform with representatives from the Port of Seattle, Women’s Corrections Center for Women at Purdy and Eugene, Ore.

Two posters are outside the doors to the auditorium, one of Anderson in her law enforcement uniform and the other offering a few details of her life and what happened Jan. 1.

Among those people helping at the church is Judy Lively of Olympic National Park. She and fellow ranger Jon Preston drove down last night to assist.

Lively talked about the deep sense of family that runs through the National Park Service. It’s the reason she was so willing to be here on her day off.

“It’s that connective tissue that holds us all together,” she said.

Lively, an 18-year Park Service veteran, said park employees share a common goal, to protect the nation’s valued natural areas.

“We have an altruistic goal. We are projecting all our energy to save something for future generations to enjoy,” said Lively, who has worked at Olympic for 2 1/2 years.

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UPDATED AT 10:15 A.M.

I just watched as scores of police and fire vehicles followed the hearse carrying Anderson’s body.

More than a dozen people stood at the intersection South Steele Street and 112th Street South.

Among them was Bill Harrington. The Graham resident took time from watching three litters of Old English Sheep Dog puppies to pay his respects.

“I just wanted to honor the service and life of the the lady, without knowing her,” he said. “This is the days she’s going to be (honored) and she shouldn’t be alone.”

Living in a rural area, Harrington said the loss of an officer like Anderson touches everyone.

“It’s like losing a neighbor,” he said. “These are real people, someone’s wife, husband, mom or dad.”

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UPDATED AT 9:27 P.M.

Lakewood Police officers Ken Devaney and Dale Thomas took some time Tuesday morning to have a cup of coffee at Forza Coffee Co. on South Steele Street. They were assigned to assist with traffic control as the procession went through a nearby intersection.

The coffee shop is the location where four fellow Lakewood police officers were killed in 2009. The flags at a memorial to the officers outside the shop were flying at half-staff.

“It’s very difficult, it hits close to home,” Devaney said of today’s memorial. “I’ve been to too many police funerals over the past 16 years.”

Devaney estimated he has been to at least 20 services for fallen police officers.

Thomas said he was thinking of the park’s contingent of law enforcement rangers, and the rest of the staff, and what they were experiencing. He also couldn’t help but think of his fallen co-workers.

“Sitting here at the table, looking up at photos of them, there are constant reminders,” Thomas said.

“It has a special meaning on a day like today,” Devaney said of being at the Forza coffee shop.

Both said they draw strength from the show of support from other agencies and the community.

Seeing school children, the eldery, people with their dogs, all standing in the cold, wind and rain, “that’s very moving,” Devaney said.

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UPDATED AT 8:25 A.M.

This will be my running coverage of today’s memorial service for Mount Rainier National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson.

I just drove by Clover Park Technical College where dozens of National Park Service law enforcement vehicles were already gathered for the processions. They were joined by colleagues from the U.S. Forest Service.

On streets in South Tacoma, one can see contingents of police cruisers and motorcycles headed for the parking area.

A dozen U.S. flags were on display at the entrance to Mountain View Funeral Home.

At Forza Coffee Co. on Steele Street, a number of Lakewood and Tacoma police officers were gathered, as well as a SWAT team and a trio of deputies from the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, all of them wearing a black band over their badges. The Forza was the location of the 2009 slaying of four Lakewood police officers. The procession for Anderson will pass within a couple of blocks of the coffee shop.

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