MUKILTEO, Wash. – The city of Mukilteo is requesting the community’s feedback for a new Peace Park dedicated to the lives of three teens shot and killed last year while at a party. Nineteen-year-olds, Jake Long, Jordan Ebner and Anna Bui are the impetus for the park, said Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, but it’s also for anyone else in the community who may be hurting.
“Every 30th of each month, it’s actually a day for us as a friend group that really hits us hard,” explained Kylie Bush. The young woman was friends with the victims and is now active in giving suggestions to the Peace Park commission.
“We have no place to go and grieve and visit,” she said. Bush and her friend Alexis Gemmer came to the open house hosted by the city on Wednesday night. It was the second feedback meeting they’ve attended. Some of their suggestions, they said, were considered and reflected in the new mock ups.
“It’s a lot of what we wanted, so I was pretty happy with the concepts that were drawn up,” said Gemmer.
“The goal is to have something open next year,” said Mayor Gregerson. She said she wants the park to be a place for friends like Bush and Gemmer to go and remember, but also for others to go and get filled.
“We’ve had a number of kids over the last few years in our high schools and middle schools who’ve died by suicide,” said Gregerson. “So that’s another element that the idea that someone who is hurting can have a space to go and maybe be rejuvenated and feel love from the community.”
Four sites for a Peace Park have been highlighted by the city, six different options are being considered.
“I want them to feel a sense of community, that this community cares about each other,” said Paul Kramer. Paul Kramer’s son Will was seriously injured in the shooting and survived.
“We are in this together,” he said. Kramer said he wants the Peace Park to be more than the victims, and about the entire city. “We’re moving forward in ways to bring in peace, to bring in hope, to bring in healing for the community as a whole.”
“I think just a place to go is the most important part,” said Bush. The two women said they aren’t concerned with what tree gets planted where, just that they’ll have a place to gather for future 30ths.
The city is hosting a picnic on Sunday, July 30th at Lighthouse Park in Mukilteo from 1pm-4pm to commemorate the lives of Long, Ebner and Bui. Peace Park plans will be there for continued community involvement and feedback.