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Temporary Memorial

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November 4, 2022 -- The temporary memorial at the Rose Garden will open on November 11, 2022. The temporary memorial will include individual plaques remembering the seven victims who were killed, designed with input from each family's designated contact. The City has installed an ADA-accessible walkway to facilitate access from the sidewalk to the Garden, and benches have been placed near the planting bed where the plaques will be placed. The City gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Guy Scopelliti Landscaping, which donated the pots and flowers that were planted and installed last week.

Plaques remembering the victims in English and Spanish will be installed at St. Johns and Central. The plaques will include information about the temporary memorial at the Rose Garden.

On Friday, November 11, the City will have flowers available at the Rose Garden and at the intersection of St. Johns and Central beginning at 8 AM with an invitation to community members to lay them at the Rose Garden as part of personal reflection and remembrance. No formal ceremony is planned. Counselors will be available from 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM; the City is grateful to Family Services of Lake County, Moraine Township, and the Highwood Public Library and Community Center for joining the City's social services team in providing counseling services. SOUL Harbour Ranch will also be on-site with trained therapy animals (horses and dogs) from 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM.

The City greatly appreciates the partnership of the Park District of Highland Park in creating this space for remembrance and reflection at the Rose Garden. The City will continue to issue reminders via eNews, social media, and cityhpil.com so that community members will be aware of specific timing once the Rose Garden is prepared and memorial items at St. Johns and Central are scheduled to be removed to the care of the Highland Park Public Library.


Timeline: What to Expect

Week of November 7:

  • Individual plaques remembering the seven victims who were killed will be installed at the Rose Garden, located adjacent to City Hall at 1707 St. Johns Ave. The plaques were designed with input from each family's designated contact. 
  • Plaques remembering the victims in English and Spanish will be installed at St. Johns and Central. These two plaques will include information about the temporary memorial at the Rose Garden.

Friday, November 11:

  • At 8:00 AM, the City will place flowers at the intersection of St. Johns and Central with an invitation to community members to bring them to the Rose Garden as available for personal reflection and remembrance.
  • Flowers will also be available at the Rose Garden to be placed by the plaques. 
  • No formal ceremony is planned.

Completed Actions

  • ADA-accessible all-season walkway has been installed. 
  • Benches have been installed at the Rose Garden near the flower bed where the plaques will be placed.
  • Flower pots have been installed with seasonal plantings at the entrance to the Rose Garden. The City gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Guy Scopelliti Landscaping, which donated the pots and flowers.
  • Memorial items at the Veterans Memorial have been removed to the care of the Highland Park Public Library. The Veterans Memorial and surrounding area have been cleaned. The Veterans Memorial will be assessed for any necessary restoration as part of a Citywide public art conservation evaluation in 2023. 
  • Signage in English and Spanish advising visitors of the relocation of memorial items and the temporary memorial at the Rose Garden was placed at St. Johns and Central and at the Veterans Memorial.
  • Four of the large photographs were removed to the care of the Library; two were taken home by families.
  • Sidewalks and colonnade at St. Johns and Central have been cleaned and refreshed. 
  • The "Antelope" sculpture has been removed from its location in the Rose Garden and stored for evaluation by a conservator in 2023.

The City greatly appreciates the partnership of the Park District of Highland Park in creating this space for remembrance and reflection at the Rose Garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the City make the Rose Garden more accessible to visitors?
The City is installing an accessible, all-season walkway stretching from the sidewalk along St. Johns to the Rose Garden, and extending directly in front of the seven plaques.

Is parking available?
Parking is available just across the street in the Metra lot, or in the Hazel Avenue lot located at Hazel & St. Johns. Parking in the Hazel Ave. lot is free, and parking in the Metra lot is free after 5:00 PM and on weekends. Visit cityhpil.com/parking for parking information.

Will there be seating in the Rose Garden?
Yes, benches will be placed in view of the plaques. For visitors who prefer to reflect at a distance, there are also benches and picnic tables in adjoining areas. 

Will access to the Gratitude Generation Kindness Rock Garden be maintained?
Yes, the Kindness Rock Garden will continue to be available to all who wish to spread kindness by leaving and sharing decorated rocks. The Kindness Rock Garden will be included in signage for the temporary memorial to help direct visitors there.

The Gratitude Generation Kindness Rock Garden is located east of the temporary memorial and is home to decorated rocks with heartfelt messages. Visitors are encouraged to bring a rock and take one of their own in a gesture of kindness and gratitude.

How were victims' families able to participate in this process?
The City's social worker has been communicating regularly with victims' families. The City has obtained their feedback regarding the temporary memorial location, the art installation, and plans for the Rose Garden. The plaques that will be installed in the Rose Garden reflect the wishes of each family.

What is happening to items that were placed at St. Johns and Central? 
Items that can be preserved will first be inventoried by the archivist. Families will have an option to keep items that are meaningful to them. Once family members have had a chance to review these items, the archivist will evaluate them for inclusion in the collection. 

Will the photographs on the plaques be visible from the street?
While the Rose Garden entrance and the plaques are visible from the street, the distance and size of the plaques are such that the City does not expect any etched photographs to be visible from the street.

What will remain at the southwest corner of Central and St. Johns?
Plaques remembering the seven victims and information about the temporary memorial will be placed under the arcade at Central and St. Johns, one in English and one in Spanish.