Highland Park, IL (WLS) — The day is a day of remembrance for the victims at Highland Park, with community walks and picnics followed by concerts and drone shows.
The shooting happened a year ago on Tuesday at 10:14 am.
Seven people were killed and dozens injured.
The seven killed were Katherine Goldstein, Irina McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy, Jackie Sandheim, Stephen Strauss, Nicolas Toledo Zaragoza and Eduardo Uvaldo.
At the memorial service, Mayor Nancy Roteling led a moment of silence in memory of the victims.
Mayor Roteling spoke of reclaiming this day and helping communities come together to recover, but this won’t be entirely complete this year alone.
“Today is an emotional day,” she said. “I am so proud of how our community has supported each other over the past 12 months and today.
Many people gathered for the Community Walk after the memorial service at Highland Park City Hall.
It followed the same route as last year’s parade, giving people a chance to reflect on what happened that day.
The city chose a community walk instead of a parade, but many say the parade isn’t ready.
About 3,000 people pre-registered for the walk.
City officials said the walk was meant to symbolize the community’s desire to reclaim the city and show its resilience, and would not feature floats or marching bands.
The trail starts at Laurel and St. John’s, follows Central, and ends at Sunset Woods Park.
A special white fence has been erected along the route with a banner reading “We Are Highland Park”.
Heidi Arousch Meister, a lifelong Highland Park resident, said she chose to walk to create new memories in a place where she suffered so much.
She felt walking was the right way to move forward.
“I think it’s a reaction to trauma that people have witnessed or indirectly experienced,” she says. “I feel like this is a very gentle way of trying to reunite to celebrate our beautiful country. I think there are mixed feelings about this. For me personally, to come together and remember. I feel it’s a great way to ‘All Things Lost’. ”
It’s also important to note that this community walk is surprisingly policed.
There are eyes in the sky as police helicopters are circling. There are also police officers on bicycles and with dogs.
Highland Park police, as well as police officers from other jurisdictions, such as Rosemont, had secured routes.
There are also crisis response team members and comfort dogs to help those with special needs on this incredibly difficult day.
After walking from downtown ceremonies, people began flocking to parks for community picnics and spending time together for the holidays.
The theme of the day will be an intimate gathering where participants have the opportunity to reflect.
The park has a baseball field, tennis courts, and a playground. On Tuesdays, however, it becomes a large open space for people to lay out blankets and chairs and enjoy family time together.
No speeches or lectures are scheduled, but a stage will be set up for music performances and many food trucks will be lined up.
City officials said they spent a lot of time planning this and tried to make sure it provided an opportunity to grieve and reflect in a way that was most meaningful to everyone.
Picnic continues until around 1:30pm
On Tuesday night, Gary Sinise and his Lieutenant Dan Band are set to headline a concert starting around 7:30pm. A 12-minute drone show is also planned to commemorate the events of a year ago.
https://abc7chicago.com/highland-park-parade-shooting-city-of-il-4th-july-illinois/13458981/ Highland Park parade shooting: Residents remember victims killed in shooting a year ago