Commission narrows down Waukesha parade memorial search to 3 designs

NOW: Commission narrows down Waukesha parade memorial search to 3 designs

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Updated: 8:39 p.m. on July 26, 2022

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Waukesha is one step closer to bringing a memorial to the city to honor lives lost when an SUV drove through the Christmas parade.

So far, commissioners are still considering two memorials -- one for Main Street, where it happened, and a larger one for Grede Park.

Commissioners did narrow the search down to three designers for Grede Park. They are Strang, Saiki and Thrive. 

Strang, Saiki and Thrive are also being considered for a Main Street statue of sorts. In addition, two local designers -- Carmen de la Paz and Richard Taylor's message tree are being looked at for Main Street. 

"Getting the community to embrace a memorial and getting a memorial that the community really wants goes a long ways towards helping people heal," said Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly.

"This was a very evil act and we have to do something to make people aware, to be conscious of evil acts or what's gonna happen to protect ourselves and our families," said Jerry Couri, Waukesha parade memorial commission chairman.

Following the emotional scars that resulted when an SUV took aim on the crowded parade last year, killing six and injuring dozens of others, the community has come together in so many ways. This memorial is the latest. 

"The memorial, it's like a gravestone, unfortunately. You look at it here and now and it's important, but 10 years from now it probably isn't. But the community support still is and to me that's what's important," said Ed Hach, whose brother-in-law was killed in the parade attack.

"So I think this is kind of -- give people a rallying point and I'm sure they'll have activities around it from year to year, around anniversary dates or something special," said Waukesha resident Nicolette Fuller. 

The next step is for these five designers to present their ideas to the commission. That meeting will likely be at the end of August. 

Anyone who'd like to make a donation to the Waukesha memorial can do so by clicking here


Published: 5:55 a.m. on July 26, 2022

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58)—Tonight, the city of Waukesha’s Parade Memorial Commission will meet to narrow down the memorial designs.

Currently six designs have been proposed. The designs range in materials and concept— from benches to pillars with messages inscribed from family members.

“Our community is healing, and people process things in a little different way and, for some folks, being a part of this, being able to contribute could be a part of their healing process,” said Melissa Baxter, the president of the Waukesha Community Fund.

The parade memorial commission will meet at 6 tonight, July 26. They’ll choose their favorite three designs, and by the end of the summer they expect to have it narrowed down to a final design.

As of last week, about $10,000 had been raised for the memorial. The final design cost will vary depending on what design is chosen.

“That fund is completely separate from the United Fund that benefited the victims, so it's a separate fund that the city set up months ago to make sure they were ready to take this step to do fundraising for the memorial itself,” said Baxter.

There are 13 commission members looking at the designs. Among them are family members of the victims and other community members.

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the final three designs.





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