SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - This weekend those most affected by what happened at Saugus High School one year ago had planned to gather at Central Park.
Much like they did in 2019 – when thousands of people came together to remember the two young lives lost and the thousands of lives forever changed. To stand together – to stand Saugus Strong.
The pandemic changed that and this year the remembrance in honor of Gracie Anne Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell will be online in a taped special called "Unity of Community," produced by the Hart School District.
Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Anne Muehlberger. (FOX 11)
"This has been an extremely difficult year but once again we're showing that Santa Clarita all comes together and unites. And that's part of why we're doing Unity of Community," said Dave Caldwell with the Hart School District.
The special includes the Blackwell and Muehlberger families, friends, teachers and students from both Saugus High and the other 16 schools in the district, all united.
The video tribute concludes the district’s "Wellness Week," which featured daily online activities to promote a continued journey of healing.
"The emotional scars remain and that is something that we are very cognizant of," said Caldwell.
And while there are no on-campus classes yet, when students return to Saugus High they will find two murals honoring Gracie and Dominic.
Artist Colette Miller paints an angel wings mural on the side of a building at Saugus High School in memory of Gracie Anne Muehlberger. (FOX 11)
One of the murals has already been painted. Its colors are bright, beautiful, and vibrant — a reflection of Gracie. With Gracie’s own words from her diary painted on her mural: "You only have one life to live," she wrote. "So why not live it great, real and fill it with memories and experiences."
Artist Colette Miller paints an angel wings mural in memory of Gracie Anne Muehlberger with a quote written by Gracie from her diary. (FOX 11)
The mural is the work of Colette Miller, the artist behind so many of the angel wing murals seen all around the world.
Including this one, where once upon a time Gracie posed.
Gracie Anne Muehlberger poses in front of one of Colette Miller's angel wings murals. (FOX 11)
Next to it, another mural will be painted to honor Dominic.
Dominic Blackwell (FOX 11)
Both murals were designed to reflect the joy these teenagers brought to so many. It is part of the healing process. Looking for joy in the sadness.
"Healing will continue. We will continue to get stronger. We will continue to stay together, no doubt about that," said Caldwell.
The road to recovery is still long, life long for many and a date on the calendar doesn’t change that but coming together once again – even if it is online – is a reminder that there is unity in this community and in 2020, they are still standing Saugus Strong.