Home News Highland Park officials to hold workshop in March to consider potential sites for permanent memorial

Highland Park officials to hold workshop in March to consider potential sites for permanent memorial

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Highland Park officials to hold workshop in March to consider potential sites for permanent memorial

Discussions of a everlasting memorial in Highland Park continued on Jan. 23 when a working group of local leaders held its second official meeting.

The Place of Remembrance Working Group reviewed details on 11 other places of remembrance across the country, reminiscent of one in Parkland, Florida, to honor the victims of a 2018 school shooting and one in Las Vegas, Nevada, to memorialize victims of a 2017 concert shooting — each projects are still in development.

The research of the memorials showed that on average they took five to 10 years from the related tragedy to finish and value between $5 million to $10 million; though, outliers existed in each category. Lots of the projects also benefited from the establishment of a foundation to assist fundraising.

In line with notes from the meeting, group members decided that at their next meeting on March 1 they’d begin discussing a possible site for the place of remembrance. Moreover, the subject might be the front-page feature on the City’s bimonthly newsletter Highlander so as to keep the general public informed of the project’s progress.

The brainstorm session on March 1 is step one in site selection after which a request for proposals. The group would then set a framework for how one can review the proposals, in line with the meeting notes.

The notes also say the working group won’t officially recommend a memorial location. As an alternative, based on public feedback, it should present several options and considerations for City Council deliberation and eventual decision.

In early 2023, town began a “multi-year process” to develop and install a everlasting site in honor of those impacted by the shooting, which killed seven and injured greater than 50, on July 4, 2022. Within the immediate wake of the tragedy, impromptu memorials appeared near downtown Highland Park. Town then installed a brief memorial to the seven victims near the City Hall rose garden. Officials have said that memorial will remain until a everlasting substitute is finished.

City officials agreed in September 2023 to form a working group to debate the subject and it could include Mayor Nancy Rotering, City Manager Ghida Neukirch, Park District Executive Director Brian Romes, City Resiliency Manager Cynthia Vargas and a councilmember, subsequently choosing Anthony Blumberg.

The five first met on Nov. 28 to set objectives for the place of remembrance and in addition agreed to develop a code of conduct and values for the group.

In the course of the group’s second meeting Jan. 23, members engaged in trauma-informed training led by Maggie Nash, the director of mental health education on the Josselyn Center.

The working group also plans to fulfill on April 3 and May 1.

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