Highland Park weighing future of memorials honoring parade victims


HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Since tragedy struck Highland Park, hundreds have gathered at two temporary city memorials which honor the seven lives lost.

But City Council says it’s time to start thinking about a new location for remembrance for several reasons.

Some locals feel the memorials, placed at a highly trafficked intersection in downtown Highland Park, are a constant reminder of the violence that unfolded on July 4.

The city says some veterans have also requested their monument be restored to its original intent.

As a result, city staff is recommending the temporary memorial be relocated to a Rose Garden near City Hall or potentially across the street from Highland Park Hospital. A third option would keep the memorial in its place but without the bright orange art surrounding it.

Jacqueline von Edelberg, the artist behind the installation, told WGN News she would like the memorial to stay as is.

“It’s been a remarkable community healing-bonding place, and that’s not something that’s so easy to just pick up and move somewhere else,” she said. “However this installation evolves, it would be my sincere hope that it could stay in this location and continue to evolve and since it was created by the community, for the community – my hope would just be that discussion of how it would evolve would involve the community.”

Highland Park resident Elliot Lieberman told WGN News the memorial is an essential piece of healing for the city.

“[The memorial location] does mean a lot because it’s very close to – 50 feet from – where we were standing – so it has special meaning to us, but that’s not necessarily specific to the rest of our town,” Lieberman said.

The city sent letters to more than two thousand people impacted by the shooting, asking for their input about the memorials. Highland Park’s city manager recommended to councilmembers Tuesday night that the commerations should move to offer a bit of a reprieve for grieving residents.

The city manager’s office recommends any changes to the temporary memorial occur by October 19.

While city mayor Nancy Rotering maintains that there will always be a memorial in Highland Park, families impacted by another mass shooting thousands of miles away voiced their opinion, stating that they hope the monument stays as is.

“It’s a place that we come to like two-to-three times a week. It just comforts us,” said Nubia Hogan, the daughter of Eduardo Uvaldo. “We feel peace and it’s kind of therapeutic also.”

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