43 bells and 43 trees honor Oso one year after landslide

One year after tragedy struck the small community of Oso, residents, rescuers, volunteers, and more gathered to honor the victims, survivors and community – still Oso Strong. On March 22, 2014 the hillside came down, blocking State Route 530 and the Stillaguamish River and burying homes in up to 70 feet of mud. One of Washington’s worst disasters, the SR 530 slide took the lives of 43 people. Yesterday a bell rang out for each of these 43 victims. On the first year after the disaster, the Seattle Times pays tribute to the Oso community in this article.

Photo of Liz and therapy dog

Liz with Pickles, the therapy dog.

When Snohomish County asked for assistance  last year, people quickly responded – including communications professionals. I am proud to have served as a public information officer for two days on the SR 530 slide, working in the Joint Field Office in Everett. I met people from throughout Washington State and the country who wanted to help. The rescue and therapy dogs made a big difference, too!

Yesterday, one year after the landslide, 43 trees were planted along the hillside to honor the victims. I hope these trees will grow as strong as the Oso community’s resilience and courage. I will continue to remember Oso, the people who came to help, and the people who call it home. Oso Strong.