A community united in mourning on Wednesday, as Highland Park officials held a solemn vigil at City Hall to honor those killed in last week’s fatal shooting.
Hundreds gathered, candles in hand, to honor the seven people killed, and the dozens injured, in a shooting that occurred at the Fourth of July parade in the community.
Mayor Nancy Rotering read the names of the victims who were killed in the shooting, with participants honoring those individuals in a moment of silence.
“It’s been a rough week, so I’m glad to see everybody out here and having this experience together,” resident Hallie Labrador said.
Labrador says she was at the parade with her children.
“I thought it was really important to come together as a community after what we’ve been through,” she said.
There was a stepped-up police presence at Wednesday’s event, a reminder of what has happened to the community.
Rabbi Isaac Serotta says that faith and community will help residents get through these dark times.
“While we have our anxieties, we will not give in to fear, we will go forth, forward with the faith and conviction that the problems that face us are not unsolvable,” he said.
Diane Beckway, who also attended the vigil, echoed those sentiments, and said that the shooting has led members of the community to constantly check in on one another, uniting in grief and in shared purpose.
“Everybody called everybody to check on everyone else, and we’ve all taken care of each other,” she said.
Serotta said that the service was merely a stepping stone in the healing process, and it cannot be the end of the journey.
“Let us go from here not thinking this is over now, that this service somehow brings some end but in knowing that our hard work now begins,” he said. “Each of us can do some good. Each of us can spread kindness.”