Highland Park to relocate temporary memorial to parade shooting victims, planning permanent tribute

  • The memorial to the victims of the Highland Park Independence Day shooting continues to grow. It will relocate to a nearby garden next month until a permanent memorial is installed.

      The memorial to the victims of the Highland Park Independence Day shooting continues to grow. It will relocate to a nearby garden next month until a permanent memorial is installed. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • The temporary memorial to the victims of the Highland Park Independence Day shooting will be moved to a rose garden to city hall next month, where it will remain under a permanent memorial is dedicated.

      The temporary memorial to the victims of the Highland Park Independence Day shooting will be moved to a rose garden to city hall next month, where it will remain under a permanent memorial is dedicated. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/28/2022 2:39 PM

Out of concern for the mental health of residents, Highland Park city council members agreed Tuesday to relocate the art installation and memorial established to honor victims of the Independence Day mass shooting that left seven dead and dozens more injured.

The temporary memorial will be moved next month from its spot near the Veterans Memorial at St. Johns and Central avenues to a rose garden adjacent to city hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave.

 

It will remain there until the city dedicates a permanent memorial to Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35; Katherine Goldstein, 64; Stephen Straus, 88; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78; and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, who were killed when a shooter opened fire from a downtown rooftop during the July 4 parade.

City representatives have been working with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Victims of Crime and mental health experts to address the concerns of victims' family members and survivors. Free mental health counseling is available through 211 Lake County at 211lakecounty.org.

Some have taken comfort in the memorial, which is comprised of letters, drawings, photographs, flowers, candles and religious items, according to a city spokeswoman, visiting it to pay their respects and share their grief. Others are avoiding the area because of it.

"The city has learned from counselors serving victims of the tragedy, business owners, employees, parents, and members of the public that members of our community are actively avoiding downtown Highland Park because they find the prominent location and bright colors of the memorial art installation to be triggering," a statement from the city reads. "Moreover, the city has heard from people who do not have the privilege of avoiding the intersection (such as students on public school buses, business owners and their employees) that the space is triggering their trauma."

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The relocation addresses those concerns by "affording greater privacy to grieving families and others" until a permanent memorial is installed, according to the spokeswoman.

The location and form of the permanent memorial will be determined by the city with feedback from victims, victims' families and the public, she said.

For more information, email cityhp@cityhpil.com.

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