Highland Park community comes together for remembrance, parade two years after mass shooting

Highland Park is emerging from the pain of the mass shooting two years ago.

On Thursday, they paid respects to those lost in the gun violence.

The community brought back the Fourth of July Parade. It’s a scaled-down version with a new route that avoids the scene of the mass shooting. It is what Mayor Nancy Rotering said is the right thing at this time.

About 300 residents and officials attended the remembrance ceremony, held at Edgewood Middle School. Rotering led the community in a program, acknowledging the pain still present from the tragedy of July 4th, 2022, what she called the darkest day in the history of Highland Park. 

Seven people were killed, 48 wounded by one shooter who fired 83 rounds at the crowd assembled for the parade.

Last year the parade was canceled out of respect. Today, the community recommitted to supporting one another.

"We come forth today hoping that we as a community can remember and honor the lives lost, the people who have been impacted forevermore through grievous injuries, those who’ve been traumatized. But I also feel like we have an obligation to this community’s children, in particular. In the aftermath of July 4, 2022, one of the third-graders who came through City Hall asked me, ‘Do we ever get to celebrate the Fourth of July again?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely.’ So today is the first step," Rotering said.

The victims' families and survivors met privately with U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth. Also attending the ceremony was former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, her wife, Amy Eshleman, and Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.