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7 years after deadly landslide, Oso community seeks help to finish victims' memorial

The COVID-19 pandemic hindered progress on a permanent memorial to the victims, survivors and first responders of the Oso landslide.

OSO, Wash. — The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt a lot of fundraising efforts, and the Oso landslide memorial is no different. The families of the victims and survivors are looking for your help to make their vision a reality. 

Like the visual reminder that still looms over State Route 530, the wounds from March 22, 2014 remain.

"It doesn't get any easier and that's what's weird about it, is that you know that that old adage of time heals all and your wounds will go away eventually and stuff -- it just it hasn't happened," said Dayn Brunner.

His sister Summer is one of the 43 people who died in the largest landslide in U.S. history. There were 11 survivors.

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Snohomish County and the community are working together on a memorial to put at the site of the slide to make sure they are never forgotten, but another crisis hindered its progress.

"COVID hit, that took a big swipe at us," Brunner said. "We weren't able to meet, a lot of the construction on the archways and gateways that come in on both sides of the slide area were halted."

Donations also certainly slowed down last year. Some state and federal grants equal to about $1 million are a huge help, but they have about $3 million more to raise. 

For a community that has come together through the impossible, they're hoping others will come together for them again.

"We have a saying that we call 'United by Mud' and that's still true to this day. We are still here, where we got the tenacity, we have the energy, and we have the ability to come together and make sure that people are taken care of. And that's what we want to continue to do. We just need some help right now," Brunner said.

There's no timeline right now for the completion, because it depends on the amount of funds raised. For Brunner, the memorial means the completion of a mission that started seven years ago.

"Those people's stories need to be told, and that's what I'm going to do," he said. 

They're not only looking for monetary donations but donations of labor and materials as well. If you'd like to help out, visit the Oso Slide Memorial website.


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