WAUKESHA, Wis. — The temporary Christmas Parade Memorial at Veterans Park in Waukesha will be decommissioned on Wednesday, Dec. 29.
Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly announced the creation of a Waukesha Christmas Parade Permanent Memorial Commission, which is scheduled to be considered by the Waukesha Common Council on Tuesday, January 18.
It has been 33 days since the tragic events at the Waukesha Holiday Parade. Since then, the memorial at Veteran’s Park has continued to grow.
Soon, it will be going away, but people here visiting this site on Christmas Eve say they will never forget what happened.
The makeshift memorial in #Waukesha’s Veterans Park will be going away in several days. Tonight, I speak with folks who took time out of their #ChristmasEve to pay respects. I’ll also have the latest on what happens with the items left at the memorial. pic.twitter.com/jCKgjB9eqR— Tony Atkins + (@TonyAtkinsTV) December 24, 2021
On a gloomy Christmas Eve, the weather, nor the holiday, stopped people from taking a moment to grieve and remember those no longer with us.
“There are a lot of families that are really hurting because of this tragedy and I felt I needed to be out here to pay my respects,” Steven Laabs said.
Throughout the day, others did the same.
“I wanted to stop by and take a close look again before it goes into storage,” said Minister David Kraemer.
"The Commission will work with the City and community leaders to determine the best location and monument to permanently honor those lost and injured," a city statement said. "The Commission will consist of members of the community from a variety of stakeholder groups. The Commission’s purpose will be to make a recommendation to the Common Council on a permanent memorial and location and to assist in the fundraising efforts for creation of a permanent monument."
Waukesha will have a brief closure ceremony of the temporary memorial on Wednesday, December 29 at 8 a.m. The public is welcome to attend.
Officials say all items that are able to, will be curated at the Waukesha County Historical Society and preserved for future.
“The mayor wants to engage the community for ideas about how best to do a permanent memorial,” said Ald. Don Browne. “There’s always the intention to preserve all of those things the best we could."
Waukesha resident Steven Laabs said he agrees. For as tragic as the event was, the lives of those killed that fateful day, cannot be forgotten.
“We just need to remember. We always need to remember what happened here that day. For future generations. They need to know,” he said.