Waukesha parade attack memorial details being finalized

The Waukesha Parade Memorial Commission met Tuesday night and is starting to craft its vision for a permanent memorial to the victims of last year's attack.

Soon, the commission will start fundraising to pay for it, too. The commission's chair estimates between $75,000 and $100,000 will be needed, including maintenance costs.

The commission is set on a few things for the memorial – the location, and the symbolic use of light to honor those who died and those who are still hurting.

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The commission is planning for a permanent memorial nestled along the Fox River in downtown Waukesha.

"It's a very good location, because it's close to the community," said Jerry Couri, the commission's chair.

Grede Park

Grede Park is tranquil and big enough to support different ideas, Couri said. He envisions a circle of six permanent lights – one for each person who died – around a center statue with another light.

"That light would come on maybe once every hour and stay on. And it would be permanent with the idea that we're talking 25, 30, 40 years from now, somebody's gonna go: 'What is this light? Why is it even there?'" said Couri.


Waukesha parade attack victims identified

The commission will seek private fundraising through the Waukesha County Community Fund. Once design aspects are finalized, the community will become more involved.

"If in fact there's pain or hurt or anxiety, that maybe this fund that they would tend to bring forward will help ease that," Couri said.

Waukesha Strong

City Attorney Brian Running advised the commission against the use of religious items, because the memorial will be located on city land. He says it could open Waukesha to lawsuits.

"It's my suggestion that we don't want this to become a battleground over First Amendment issues as opposed to a memorial to the victims," said Running.

The commission hopes to have a design finalized by August. From there, the goal is to dedicate the memorial on the two-year anniversary of the attack: Nov. 21, 2023.

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