The reviewing stand at Ackerman Park on Central Street at McDaniel Avenue. Credit: Richard Cahan

A day of celebrating America turned into a day of horror and reflection for many people who talked to the RoundTable Monday.

The RoundTable went to Central Street after the July 4 parade was cancelled as the result of a mass shooting that left six people dead and several dozen injured at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade.

This July 4 party went on as planned along Central Street. Host Kristin Klinger (second from right) invited 15 people. About half showed. L.J. Hickman is front left and Catherine Haremski is next to her. Credit: Richard Cahan

“America doesn’t deserve a parade,” said L.J. Hickman as she sat beneath a tent overlooking the parade route with friends. Catherine Haremski echoed her friend’s words. “I think we have been stripping away the idea of liberty and freedom,” she said. “And yeah, we kind of didn’t deserve a birthday party this year.”

Kristin Klinger invited Hickman, Haremski and others to join her in the tent for the parade. “We were just excited about gathering again after three years just as friends,” said Klinger. So the party – not a celebration, they all agreed – continued. “Better to be miserable together,” she said.

“I did not weep,” said Helen Marshall when she heard the news of the shooting. “I got that pinched feeling you get in your nose when you think you are going to cry. Your face feels flush. . . . But I didn’t actually cry. I think the anger overrode that.” Credit: Richard Cahan

Down the street, Helen Marshall sat at another front-yard party. She wore white for mourning what happened on Monday in Highland Park.

“My first thought was: Not again,” she said. “And I thought: It happened here. And then I thought: Well, how long did you think it was going to take before it happened here? And then I thought: Will this ever end? And then I thought, No. And then I thought: It’s your responsibility to figure out what you’re going to do to help make this stop.

“And my final thought was that the next round of elections. That’s my job. I always vote, make sure that my friends vote and to support candidates who are for gun control.”

Editor’s note: For more of the RoundTable coverage, please see our story on the eyewitness accounts of the shooting, our story on the volunteers who had to shut down the planned parade and the main story on the shooting and how the investigation unfolded.

Richard Cahan takes photos for the Evanston RoundTable. He also is publisher of CityFiles Press, a small but mighty media company that believes in the power of words and pictures. You can reach him at...

3 replies on “The Fourth of July that ended before it began”

  1. Not to be “that guy” but this article refers twice to the 4th of July Shooting “on Sunday”. The tragic event was not on Sunday; it was on Monday, July 4. I realize that The Roundtable, like other journalism websites may be strapped for cash and resources, but come on. This was an easy edit. That aside, please vote for gun control. There is no better way to honor the victims of this senseless tragedy.

    1. Yes, Donna, it was an easy edit in the story. It is done. The photo carousel is much harder as I have to take it all down and load everything again. I will try to get to that later. telling us about mistakes is deeply appreciated. We apologize for getting it wrong. Just as an FYI, as it’s summer. we have one person doing this work. So, yes, sometimes I miss things and all the seemingly “little things” come on top of the breaking news and the day to day. So, we’ll keep trying and if you keep telling us when we need a correction, we would be deeply grateful. Susy Schultz, editor

  2. We are immersed in culture of permissive violence from childhood to old age. Brains of citizens are fed by predominant violence on airwaves, TV, children’s games etc. Violence begets violence. We are teaching people to do only what you like. There is less emphasis on self-control and duty. We must teach more of that.

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