One week into an indefinite healing process Highland Park community members united for moment of silence near the site of the deadly mass shooting on the Fourth of July.
Many of the residents encircled a memorial in Port Clinton Square. With no public official or event emcee, an attendee’s soft “shh” at 10:14 a.m. was enough for the silence to begin and remain for more than five minutes.
The memorial featured drawn portraits of the seven victims of the shooting — Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park; Irina McCarthy, 35, of Highland Park; Kevin McCarthy, 37, of Highland Park; Jacki Sundheim, 63, of Highland Park; Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park; Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico; and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, of Waukegan — fronted by a growing mound of flowers and tributes.
Highland Park’s Bella Salniker came to the memorial with two brown grocery bags containing potted flowers. She placed one in front of each victim portrait.
“I don’t know. I just wanted to do something — at least flowers for these innocent people who just went to a parade,” she said.
Seven days prior and at the same time as the moment of silence a gunman armed with an assault-style rifle opened fire on paradegoers from a downtown Highland Park rooftop. The shooter’s attack killed seven people and injured more than 40 others.
A local man, Bobby Crimo, 21, of Highwood, was apprehended later that evening as a person of interest in the assault and he was charged with seven counts of murder on Wednesday, July 6.
In the days since the tragedy, Highland Park residents and their neighbors have rallied in the name of comfort, mourning at vigils and spiritual services throughout the community; support, coordinating for everything from financial donations to clean-up efforts; and change, demanding stricter gun laws and legislative action.
Residents like Leah Morgan are doing anything they can.
“I’ve been coming every day to just talk,” Morgan said. “It kind of feels like like I’m doing something.”
At 10:14 a.m. on Monday, July 11, though, it was time for quiet if only for a few minutes.
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