Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at kcapps@newsminer.com, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Six new names will be added to the North Pole Memorial Park at 11 a.m. on Saturday during the third annual Fallen Heroes ceremony.

Originally created in honor of slain Alaska Sate Troopers Gabe Rich and Scott Johnson, the North Pole Memorial Park also honors borough residents who have given their lives while performing official duties serving their country, state or municipality.

Residents whose names will be added include:

• University Battalion Chief Philip E. Rounds.

• U.S. Army Private First-Class Gilbert Ketzler Jr.

• U.S. Army SSG Steven J. Wengelewski Jr.

• U.S. Marines PFC Kermit H. Labelle.

• U.S. Army SFC Johnathan B. McCain.

• U.S. Army CWO Wayne E. Jones.

The park was created about five years ago with the help and dedication of many local volunteers. Residents may submit names for consideration. North Pole police Chief Steve Dutra and others work tirelessly in their search for possible heroes, to make sure no one is forgotten.

The list even includes people from as far back as the 1950s and the Vietnam era. Each applicant is carefully researched. A close relative must grant permission to add the name to the wall.

Next to each name on the plaque is a QR code. Visitors can scan that code with their smartphones and read the biography of the fallen hero.

Parking will be located at the Tesoro/North Pole Worship Center. There is a handicap drop off area at the park. Barbecue and refreshments will follow the ceremony, at the Worship Center.

 

Writing in the Woods

There are still openings for Writing in the Woods, a free nature journaling camp for third through seventh graders at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. The National Park Service offers this camp, which includes field trips to outdoor sites in the Fairbanks area.

A two-day session for third and fourth graders runs Aug. 5 and 6. A three-day session for fifth through seventh graders takes place Aug. 7-9. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Campers may arrive beginning at 8:45 a.m. each day.

The camp includes science activities, short hikes and recording observations and experiences in writing and art.

The camp is offered free of charge thanks in part to a science education grant from Alaska Geographic and Denali National Park and Preserve.

Registration deadline is July 31. Email faplic_education@nps.gov or visit the Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center desk to register, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

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