Mariners' Memorial accepting applications through January to add names to plaques

The board of the Mariners’ Memorial is accepting applications from community members who would like to see their loved ones featured on one of the memorial’s plaques.

Each application should include the name of the deceased, a brief tribute that will be featured on the plaque and a story about the life of the mariner, which will be housed on the memorial’s online server.

“(The Wrangell Mariners’ Memorial) mission is to help tell each mariner’s story,” the form reads.

To maximize the process’s accessibility, memorial board members will be available to help with applications at the Nolan Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 8, Nov. 29, Dec. 13, Jan. 10, Jan. 17, Jan. 30 and Jan. 31.

“Sometimes, it’s easier for people trying to fill out the paperwork, especially about a loved one that’s passed on, to have assistance with that,” said board president Jenn Miller-Yancey. “People want to talk through that story, or they don’t know what to write.”

Applications are available online at or at the Nolan Center. A $400 payment must be included with each application.

Though the board doesn’t put a cap on the number of mariners it honors each year, it anticipates receiving about 12 or more applications this round. The plaques are limited to community members who contributed to Wrangell’s maritime industry, but “we do want it to be as inclusive as possible,” she added. From ferry workers to log ship workers to fishermen, it’s “fairly open in terms of people that have been on the water.”

When the memorial at Heritage Harbor was unveiled last September, it featured 43 names.

For Miller-Yancey, the memorial is not just a way for individuals to honor their deceased loved ones, but a means of collective remembrance. “Memorials are a very important part of a healthy community as they help link the past to the present and serve as an important community history,” she said at the opening ceremony in 2022. “Memorial spaces offer places to grieve, heal and celebrate.”

She helped advocate for the memorial’s construction after losing her husband, Ryan Miller, to a commercial fishing accident in 2005.

The deadline for submission is Jan. 31, 2024. The new plaques will likely be attached to the memorial in May prior to the annual blessing of the fleet, which usually takes place late that month.


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