HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – Highland Park first responders were honored Monday night for their response to the tragic July 4 parade shooting, with those in attendance giving a standing ovation to emergency personnel who helped save lives and to those who led them through a time of crisis.
Congressman Brad Schneider presented 11 leaders with flags that flew above the United States Capitol. Highland Park Mayor Mary Nancy Rotering, Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg and Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogman were among the recipients.
“I accept this flag on behalf of all my officers. There is no doubt that they played heroically, professionally and confidently. I try to tell them every day as we work on it, I remind them how proud I am of them,” Jogman said.
The flag was a reminder of why the Highland Park community came together on Independence Day.
“When I heard the shots, like most people, I thought it couldn’t be true and I see people running towards us saying shots were fired,” Idleburg said. .
Like many first responders, Sheriff Idleburg ran to those shots and helped a woman who had been injured as they waited for paramedics to take her to hospital.
“She is much better, I had the opportunity to sit and talk with her and I gave her a hug and she gave me a hug,” Idleburg said.
It is these stories that bring comfort in the midst of deep sadness.
“There are people today who are here with us because of all the work that was done that day,” Idleburg said. “You know, I think we’re all still wearing it and wish we could have done more, that’s for sure.”
“While there are times of normalcy, we know our hometown lives in the shadow of this tragedy,” Mayor Rotering added.
But even in the shadows, Highland Park makes time for thanks and gratitude.
“It is a day we will never forget for the pain and grief of those who were murdered, but we must also think and remember the heroism and honor of the people who serve us,” he said. said Rep. Brad Schneider. “I thought it was important to make sure we recognize them today and continue to recognize them in the days, months and years to come.”
The full list of flag winners includes:
- Mayor Nancy Rotering, Town of Highland Park
- Ghida Neukirch, City Manager, Town of Highland Park
- Police Chief Lou Jogmen, City of Highland Park
- Fire Chief Joe Schrage, City of Highland Park
- State Senator Julie Morrison, 29th District
- State Representative Bob Morgan, 58th District
- Sheriff John Idleburg, Lake County
- Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart
- Jennifer Banek, Lake County Coroner (accepted on her behalf by Steve Newton, Deputy Chief, Lake County Coroner)
- Christopher Covelli, Deputy Chief, Lake County Sheriff’s Office
- Gabrielle Cummings, President of Highland Park Hospital
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