WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) paid tribute in Senate floor speeches to victims and survivors of the State Route 530 mudslide. On Sunday, it will have been one year since the mudslide struck on March 22, 2014 near Oso, Washington, killing 43 people.
“Now, a year down the long road of recovery, there is one word that comes to mind when trying to explain what the people of Oso and Darrington are, at their core: resilient,” Murray said. “I want those communities to know that all the way across the country in the other Washington, I stand with Oso. We stand with Oso.”
“This Sunday is a very solemn milestone,” Cantwell said. “When faced with immense challenges, these communities of Darrington and Oso pulled together and yes, Oso became ‘Oso strong’. These communities have shown that even in the most unimaginable devastation, people can come together in unity and persevere. They showed how light and hope can shine through, even in grief.”
Watch Senator Murray’s speech here. Excerpts are below:
“…what I saw that day last March was a community where there wasn’t a single person who wasn’t doing everything they could to help. Amidst the terrible destruction, I saw hope.
“I was proud to work with my colleagues here in the Senate—and with our friends in the House—to make sure the federal government was offering a hand. Because we are a nation that sticks together when times are tough.
“Though the devastation will eventually be cleared, and injuries will heal, the emotional scars will remain. And the memories of those who were lost will never leave us.
“Their resiliency in the face of such unthinkable devastation is an inspiration to us all – we will always remember what it means to be Oso strong.”
Watch Senator Cantwell’s speech here. Excerpts are below:
“I rise to join my colleague from Washington, Senator Murray, on the observance of this very solemn milestone. This Sunday will be one year since this catastrophic event. These communities lost loved ones and friends, and their memory will be with us for a long time.
“When faced with immense challenges, these communities of Darrington and Oso pulled together and yes, Oso became ‘Oso strong’. It was a rallying cry to first responders, to volunteers, to the young people, to the many people working many, many hours a day.
“More than 1,000 volunteers descended, many from just the local community, with their own transportation systems, their own rigs, and devoted thousands of hours to try to help survivors. Private companies and individuals, corporations, tribes, charities, nonprofits, all sorts of governments chipped in, everybody helped. And we want to thank them for that help.
“This hillside bears an unmistakable scar and it has inflicted deep wounds. We want to make sure that those we lost, that their memories will fuel our determination to do better. It's not going to be easy, it's not going to be quick. But we will continue to build off of the strength that this community demonstrated in the aftermath of this disaster.”