MUKILTEO — Their names were written with purple sidewalk chalk.
A girl drew a lighthouse shining its beacon on them.
More than a hundred people visited Lighthouse Park Sunday for a picnic. They commemorated one year since the deaths of three young people and the injury of another.
Anna Bui, Jake Long and Jordan Ebner were killed at a house party on July 30, 2016. They were 19. Will Kramer was injured but survived.
The shooter is serving a life sentence in prison.
“It’s important to say their names and keep their memories alive,” said Christina Harkness with Victim Support Services.
Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said Sunday’s gathering was meant to be a time for people to enjoy a sunny afternoon together on the waterfront.
Neighbors and former high school classmates talked under the shade of the picnic shelters. A few tossed a football across a grassy field.
Ann Brice, 73, has lived in Mukilteo for nearly 40 years. Her two granddaughters, a freshman and a junior, are students at Kamiak High School.
Though Brice didn’t know the Bui, Ebner and Long families, but she wanted to lend her support.
“I was looking for what they could need, what I could be doing,” Brice said.
She showed up Sunday with a purple Mukilteo Strong bracelet on her wrist.
Some people broke from the crowd for a quiet moment on the beach.
“It’s unbelievable it was a year ago,” Gregerson said. “It feels like it was more than a year, but also not long at all.”
Aida Falloria, 59, said she misses seeing Anna Bui’s face around the house.
Falloria’s daughter and Anna Bui were good friends. They sang together at Kamiak.
Falloria said Anna Bui would call her “Mama Aida.”
She remembers the girls’ sleepovers well. Her bedroom was next door. When it got late, she would ask them to quiet down.
She’d hear “shhh,” and then giggles.
Falloria’s daughter was texting Anna Bui on the night of the house party.
“I really miss her,” Falloria said. “I’m here to support her.”
Anny Bui, sister to Anna, said last week that she planned to attend the community picnic.
“I don’t know how I’m going to feel,” she said. “It will be hard.”
She was encouraged that the community wanted to be together to remember the loss of her sister, along with Ebner and Long.
“I think it’s a good way to let people know that it’s OK to reach out,” she said. “We all need to be there for each other.”
The Mukilteo community has embraced the families whose children were killed, injured or affected by the violence.
“I’m seeing lots of faces a year ago I saw in grief,” Gregerson said. “Today, they’re all smiles. That’s good to see.”
Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Bui’s family is hosting a fundraiser Thursday benefiting a scholarship in her name. The funds will help students at the University of Washington Bothell study abroad.
Tickets cost $40 with $30 going directly to the scholarship. Tickets can be bought online.