On Monday, July 4, we gathered together in the heart of our community to celebrate our nation's independence for the first time in two years. The Highland Park 4th of July Parade welcomes guests from all over our region to celebrate with Highland Park and Highwood residents and business owners. From the streamers and pinwheels at the children's bike and pet parade to the row of American flags lining beautiful Central Avenue, our community is part of treasured family traditions for Highland Parkers and neighbors throughout the North Shore.
In little more than a few minutes, seven souls were lost and all of our lives were forever changed. We are heartbroken for all that was lost that day, and most especially share in the grief of the families mourning the loss of a loved one. We stand in solidarity with the victims who are recovering from injuries, and we will do whatever we can to help all survivors in healing from this trauma.
To our government partners, especially our friends at the Park District of Highland Park with whom we co-present the 4th of July Parade, we thank you for your support and treasure the opportunity to serve this wonderful community alongside you. To our federal, state, and county agencies and numerous area municipalities who continue to provide us support and assistance, our heartfelt thanks. To our CERT volunteers who provided emergency response and medical response during the incident, we are inspired by your bravery and dedication to service. To our neighbors in Highwood, we are one community, stronger together and forever intertwined. To our non-profit, advocacy, and faith-based organizations, thank you for sharing your gifts of hope and purpose. To the generous individuals who have so thoughtfully remembered our first responders, we thank you. And to all of you, our neighbors, business owners, and friends, we are all honored to be part of this wonderful town you call home.
As a City, we have experienced a profound sense of gratitude for all those who have come together to support us, from artists creating inspiring chalk art to musicians writing songs, neighbors organizing meal trains and advocates planning vigils to businesses from Highland Park and beyond donating food and strangers lending a shoulder to cry on.
Together, we will travel the difficult path of healing, honor the memory of those who were killed, and extend each other grace and empathy as we navigate this unchartered territory. Together, we are Highland Park Strong.