Highland Park victim memorials consolidated; City wants public input on permanent tribute
In the days and weeks following the mass shooting in Highland Park, community members paid homage to the tragedy’s victims in a multitude of ways along Central Avenue, including a substantial memorial in Port Clinton Square.
On Monday, Aug. 1, City of Highland Park officials, saying they are following the advice of mental-health experts, consolidated many of the memorial items at the intersection of Central and St. John’s avenues, just east of the train tracks where other temporary tributes have evolved since the day of the shooting, July 4.
“Based on advice from victims’ services experts at the Department of Justice, we understand that creating and maintaining temporary memorials has brought comfort to many,” an email from the City reads. “Additionally, mental health experts have shared that efforts to restore incident locations to their familiar form is beneficial in the long term, especially for children.”
The attack — in which seven people were shot to death and dozens of others were wounded on the Fourth of July — occurred in and around the intersection of 2nd Street and Central Avenue, adjacent to Port Clinton Square.
The temporary memorials will reportedly remain at Central and St. John’s, which is about two blocks east of Port Clinton Square, for the foreseeable future as the City develops a plan for a permanent tribute to the victims.
The permanent memorial, however, is not being rushed, according to City officials, who said in an email that mental-health professionals have advised to allow time for “the community and those most affected by the incident to grieve.”
While City officials have not begun official development of the memorial, they are collecting public feedback, including ideas and suggestions for the project, via email at email@example.com.
“We appreciate your understanding as we approach this significant undertaking with the respect and sensitivity it deserves,” the city’s message says. “More information will be shared when available.”
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319