Katherine DeGroff’s article “Lest We Forget” in the Spring 2021 issue of, “National Parks” Magazine tells the story of former park service employee Jeff Ohlfs’ dedication to his project of memorializing online the deaths of National Park Service employees in the line of duty.
According to DeGroff, “The memorial, which spans more than a century, sparingly documents the lives of 264 men and women, and includes references to more than 90 parks in over 35 states and territories.” The memorial went live last year when NPS was celebrating its 104th anniversary,
Reading the listings from start to finish honors not only those who died in falls, equipment wrecks, avalanches, plane crashes, and hostile encounters with law-breaking civilians, but with Ohlfs’ dedication to missing not a single person who died in the line of duty.
DeGroff quotes Ohlfs as saying, “We honor our military fallen. We honor our emergency services people. The National Park System isn’t too far away from that.” I agree, and I hope that when Ohlfs retires from his retirement duties, somebody with a love of the park service and the sacrifices it requires will step forward and carry the torch forward into the future, lest we forget.
Malcolm R. Campbell
Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing