Sunday, May 20, 2012

Harpers Ferry NHP Summer Internship: Week #1

Jefferson Rock
Jacky and I arrived at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park on Saturday May 12, 2012.  Upon our arrival, we felt that this place was a gem surrounded by beautiful natural elements including remarkable rock outcrops on mountains and big bold rivers.  We were met by our supervisor, Mark Howard, who showed us the place where we will be residing for the summer.  It is the old Master Armories House, also known as Quarters 36, in Lower Town where most of the historical exhibits are located and we could see the park in action with different living history programs already underway.  Jacky and I knew, especially with what we were exposed to the first day, that we would be able to make ourselves right at home and that working at this place for the summer would be an experience of a lifetime.

     Sunday was the first time that Jacky and I wore the uniform.  We attended the 24th Annual Candlelight Vigil for fallen officers at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, located at
Judiciary Square
in Washington D.C.  As seen in the photograph, the memorial includes a wall where officers’ names that died in the line of duty are engraved.  Not only do the names include officers who have died recently, but it is said that all known officers' names who have fallen in the line of duty throughout U.S. history are engraved as well.

Here we were able to pay our respects to any and all law enforcement employees that died in the line of duty.  There were law enforcement officers from all different types of agencies which include state, local and federal from all around the nation attending this ceremony.  We even got to meet other NPS rangers from different areas of the United States.  This event is also a reminder of what we as ProRangers have to be aware of when we become full time NPS LE Rangers: that we can come across real dangers and life threatening situations.  Being a part of law enforcement means that we serve and protect people.  When there is an incident and people are running away from the hazard, we will be the ones running into the dangerous situation.  Law Enforcement officers are the true heroes for they protect the American people and keep our nation secure.  Thanks to the Police Unity Tour, “We Ride for Those Who Died”, enough money was raised for a museum to be built at the memorial.  I would advise any ProRanger or anyone reading this blog to visit this memorial or, even better, attend the candlelight vigil that is held during National Law Enforcement Week.  It was a privilege for Jacky and I to be able to attend this emotional and heart felt ceremony.  We thank our Supervisor Mark Howard for giving us this opportunity.

The remainder of the week consisted of orientation.  We were starting to become familiarized with park staff, places of interest, and the overall history of the park.  On Wednesday, we got to assist our supervisor with his ongoing case of an illegal thinning operation conducted on park property.  We took inventory of all the trees that were illegally cut, apparently by a private landowner whose house is adjacent to the park boundary.  We went into the field with much help from a knowledgeable NPS botanist and employees from the natural resource department.  Jacky and I enjoyed being able to identify, tag and tally the cut trees.  The trees that were cut included the native species black locust, black oak, white oak, chestnut oak, sassafras, mockernut hickory, bitternut hickory, redbud, black walnut, boxelder and the invasive species white mulberry, princess tree and tree of heaven.  It was definitely a long day’s work, but it was very rewarding, especially if we can help crack this case.  

Next week will consist of lots more training and we will keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading these posts and seeing all the photos. It makes your adventures at HF come alive!