Families’ concerns cancel mudslide ceremony

DARRINGTON — The dedication ceremony for a donated columbarium honoring victims of the Oso mudslide has been canceled.

The columbarium ­— a niched wall for interring ashes — was donated to the Darrington Cemetery by businesses in Monroe and Seattle. It includes a black granite plaque inscribed with the names of the 43 men, women and children who died in the March 22 mudslide.

Volunteers installed the columbarium at the Darrington Cemetery earlier this month. An unveiling and dedication was originally scheduled for Saturday.

The ceremony was canceled after people who lost family in the mudside expressed concerns about the columbarium. Several people said they did not want their family members’ names on the plaque because their loved ones had been interred elsewhere.

“The town of Darrington and the Darrington Cemetery Board would like to apologize to all the family members of the SR 530 mudslide (victims),” board member Rosetta Willis said in an email Thursday. “Out of respect for all the family members, we are postponing the dedication of the columbarium.”

No new date has been set for the dedication. Willis declined to discuss future plans for columbarium.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439, kbray@heraldnet.com

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