Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pro Rangers Go to Washington D.C.

Some of the Pro Rangers had the opportunity to take a trip to Washington D.C. to meet a very important person.  This person took the time out of her busy schedule to meet with us and displayed her passion for the Pro Ranger Program. This person is the Deputy Director of the National Park Service.  That's right, we met the one and only Peggy O'Dell! We introduced our selves individually and if only you could see the excitement and gratitude on all of our faces.  The Pro Rangers would like to thank Peggy O'Dell for meeting with us and showing great interest in our program.  We also met with Steve Whitesell, who is the NCR Regional Director of the NPS.  Everyone was very welcoming and were happy to meet the Pro Rangers as we were grateful to have met them as well.

PART_1343446163315.jpegOur great leaders of the Pro Ranger Program were there to greet us including Kim Coast, Will Reynolds and Dr. McGarvey.  Also Chief Ranger of Prince William National Forest Park Cindy Sirk-Fear and law enforcement ranger David Ballam were present as well. It is always nice to see our mentors come and support us.  Thank you to Kim Coast and Will Reynolds for treating us all to lunch.


Later on in the afternoon, we made our way to the National Law Enforcement Memorial.  Chief Will Reynolds shared with us the significance of this site and how these people put their life on the line to protect our nation and our people. Some of you might not know this fact but the actual memorial is managed by the NPS in partnership with the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. Will Reynolds had us search for the names of law enforcement NPS rangers that died in the line of duty and to reflect as well.

It is important to remember these people for they protect us and we will one day serve and protect.  Not only is it significant to reflect on the law enforcement rangers who died in the line of duty but all of the NPS employees who passed away because every division is important to the mission and the overall well-being our national parks and monuments.  I would advise anyone who has not yet visited this site to go because it is a breath taking site to see all the names of law enforcement officers who died doing their job engraved in stone and remembered forever.  After we visited the memorial, we went to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund store to buy souvenirs because the proceeds go to the actual memorial.

Police Officer Gary F. Skerski | Philadelphia Police Department, PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania
While I was at the memorial, I found the name of a dear friend of the family who passed away on May 8, 2006 responding to an armed robbery.  Officer Gary Skerski (Badge #7379) was shot and killed by the offender.  Skerski is greatly missed by many. It was such a privilege to see his name engraved on the wall at the memorial.

This is to all the law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty...


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