Tonight about 70 or more people gathered at the north point of Emma Schmitz Park and walked the park to Jacobsen and back. Neighbors reunited and perhaps met for the first time during this calm, cool evening at this event organized by Judy Bentley.
Candles and flashlights were lit as we stood together in silence. Ms. Guy's father appeared to thank everyone for the vigil and for remembering Greggette. He said that they used to walk this area together and that she enjoyed walking here during storms. He called the lower area of Emma Schmitz (which is out of view from the street) a "death trap" and he wants Seattle's Mayor McGinn to do something to remedy this. He would like to see the park closed at night with better lighting and a memorial to be created for his daughter. Several people came forward to offer condolences and hug Greggette's father. He said that had he known she was going to walk Beach Drive that night, he would have joined her.
The media was quick to interview Greggette's father after his words to our group.
Neighbors held several casual discussions with many ideas of what can be done to make this area of Beach Drive a safer place. Many have offered to volunteer their services or time. A neighbor is organizing a sign up so that people don't need to walk alone along this stretch of an area that "should" be safe. I believe that in Greggette's memory, many of us will work toward making this park a safer place through our own actions and by contacting our local politicians so that we can hopefully deter something like this from happening again.
Click here for West Seattle Blog's coverage, including a video of Greggette's Father and what he had to say to our neighborhood.