Just three weeks removed from the worst day in the town’s history, fresh memories of the July 4th parade shooting in suburban Highland Park pressed against the need for the community to find ways to start to move forward.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering started Monday’s city council meeting with a somber moment of remembrance of the seven victims who died in the attack, which also injured dozens of others.
“I ask that we take a moment of silence to remember and honor these individuals and keep all those who were injured and their families in our thoughts,” she said. “I’ve said it before, and it needs to be repeated: this shooting may have attacked our most basic and collective sense of humanity, but it will not define us.”
Herb Kruse, who teaches art in the community, said that humanity was the message he sought to spread in donating his seven portraits of those who were killed to the city.
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“I did the American flag, and I wanted them to be upright and to be more prominent,” he said of the work.
Through Kruse says he’s moving out of his apartment, located along the parade route where the shooting took place, he says that the act of physically moving is only going so far in allowing him to start leaving what occurred there behind.
“I’m nervous, and I can’t sleep very well at all,” he said. “I’m still kind of up at night.”
The suspect in the shooting remains in custody, facing murder charges and a host of other accusations in connection with the horrific act of violence.
Meanwhile, local leaders, including Rotering, have continued pushing for Congress to ban assault weapons similar to the one used in the attack. The mayor also attended a signing ceremony for a bipartisan gun violence prevention bill at the White House earlier this month.