Families and staff members of Chinook Elementary School gathered to remember Markian Basargin, a second-grade student who died after a traffic accident at Lake Otis Parkway and O'Malley Road on Jan. 17. Dozens of people holding candles walked a path through the woods next to the school. Afterward, they gathered near a picture of Markian and listened to a statement from Markian's mother, Fenya Gostevskyh, who thanked them for their support.
Wednesday would have been Markian's 8th birthday, Gostevskyh said.
Kris Hinrichsen, Markian's teacher, said he'll remember a boy who was quiet, sweet and perceptive enough to know when someone needed a hug. Hinrichsen said crisis counselors were on hand last week to help Markian's classmates process the news of his death. As a class, they've shared memories and made many cards for his family.
Hinrichsen said a funeral was held for Markian on the Kenai Peninsula, but the Anchorage event was planned for those who couldn't attend.
"This is our community's way of respecting, remembering and being able to have our goodbyes," Hinrichsen said.