Memorial honoring Highland Park shooting victims officially opens

Highland Park is a community still hurting from the Fourth of July mass shooting.

Since memorials near the downtown scene were too painful, the city chose Laurel Park for a temporary memorial. The space is still close to the scene, but on a less traveled street.

The first memorials were on the pathway of commuters, business people and school children.

There were large pictures of the seven victims and thousands of condolence messages. The items are now at the Highland Park library for preservation.

The new location is a 100-year-old rose garden located between the library and city hall. It has new landscaping, benches and plaques with images of each of the seven people who lost their lives that summer holiday.

Comfort dogs and ponies were on hand to lift spirits during the official opening Friday morning.

Visitors placed flowers at the memorial and the tears still flow.

"My hope is that they'll reflect on the fact that seven people unnecessarily lost their lives, and had wonderful lives that they had lived and families who will be missing them this Thanksgiving," Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said. "There is an opportunity to reflect on those seven. But to also feel the need to take action, to say, this kind of pain is unnecessary. It doesn’t need to be this way in our communities."


It’s not known how long the temporary memorial will be in place, it could be many seasons.

The conversation about a permanent memorial will start in January.