(KMTR) -- Almost one year after two South Eugene High School
students drowned on the Oregon Coast
, a new effort from friends has sprung forward to remember Connor Ausland and Jack Harnsongkram.
A group of former and current South Eugene High School students have put together a new memorial / remembrance video about Connor and Jack that is also a “thank you” of sorts to one person that helped students grieve after the loss of the students.
On February 5th, 2011, Connor Ausland and Jack Harnsongkram died in the waters of the Pacific Ocean in Yachats.
The two students were standing on a rocky outcrop at Smelt Sands State Park when a large wave hit the rocks, bringing waist high water that sucked both Connor and Jack in. Friends attempted to rescue the two teens but were unable to reach them.
Connor and Jack were at in Yachats for a group retreat as part of South Eugene High’s “Mr. Axeman” competition.
In the days and months following the tragedy, friends came together in various ways. The new video that Connor and Jack’s friends have made chronicles one of them.
A South Eugene High School graduated, Nina Fullerton, and a current South Eugene High Senior, Allison Honn helped put the video together, calling it a “Connor & Jack Memorial Dideo for Bieber,” as in Justin Bieber.
According to friends, Connor was a big Justin Bieber fan, identifying with the pop singer’s music and dance skills.
After Connor and Jack’s death, many students dealt with the loss and remembrance of the two through listening to Bieber’s music.
“Remembering how awesome the lives of these two boys were and how their legacy is going to carry on forever, that's really the point of the whole thing,” says Fullerton.
The teens are hoping to get the video out there and in front of Justin Bieber himself now to tell their story and say thank you.
“Just I think to show Justin what an impact he makes on this community, whether or not he knows it,” says Honn.
Both Nina and Allison are now in contact with Justin Bieber’s management company, hoping to get a copy of the video in front of him.
“If he (Bieber) were to put out some kind of act of generosity, like even a phone call to Connor's close friends and family or an email or anything like that, it would be so awesome knows how much of an impact he made in Connor's life and the life of a lot of people in South Eugene,” says Fullerton.
“More important than it would be for me, it would be for Connor's dad and he's seen us through this whole process, working on endlessly on it, and he's suffered so much loss in the last year that I just think something like this brings so much excitement and hope that something you know something good might come out of this situation,” says Honn.
The video is now posted on YouTube.com. In just a few days, the video has already racked up nearly 7,000 hits.
To view the video, click the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJ2-MaS6Uk.
While the video is one effort to remember Connor and Jack, South Eugene High School has also dedicated a room in the teen’s honor displaying pictures, artwork and other pieces of memorabilia related to the two students. Students are also being encouraged to write messages to the families of both Connor and Jack. The exhibit will be on display for students to view through February 6th, 2012.
Long term, both the Ausland and Harnsongkram families are working with the Oregon State Parks & Recreation Department to install new educational coastal safety markers in the area where Connor and Jack were swept into the ocean.
Right now, the group behind it is in the process of designing and raising the necessary funds to complete the project. As of February 8th, 2012, the group is also looking for approval from Lincoln County to install the educational project.
For more information on the coastal safety marker project, click the following link: http://www.sehscoastalmarker.org/.