Survivors recount tragic day one month after Highland Park parade shooting

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ByEric Horng via WLS logo
Friday, August 5, 2022
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One month after the deadly Highland Park parade shooting, emotions remain raw, but what was surreal in those initial days has now sunk in painfully and profoundly.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- One month after the deadly Highland Park parade shooting, emotions remain raw, but what was surreal in those initial days has now sunk in painfully and profoundly.

"It's heavy. Recovery's been uneven," Highland Park shooting survivor, David Sallak said. "Time does heal a little, but being here is particularly heavy."

One month ago, Sallak and his family were at the epicenter of the shooting and barely escaped the gunfire.

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"The memorial is. It acknowledges the truth of that day. And the truth has a lot of pain," Sallack said. "Letters I've written. The letters and notes left at this memorial have now become a promise.

In between the moments of silence, Highland Park's voice has never been louder.

Before a month ago, Sonya Cohen had last been to the nation's capital as a child.

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Since the shooting, she's traveled there three times, pressing lawmakers to enact a ban on assault-style weapons.

"Where am I now? I think I'm letting my despair turn into anger," Cohen said. "I'm using that anger to do what needs to be done. We deserve a strong response from the government."

The family of Nicholas Toledo-Zaragoza, one of the seven lives lost in the shooting, mourned in private on the anniversary, but not alone.

"It's a right and a privilege to carry the stories of those families there and honor them with action," said Sallak.

One month later, the wounds have become a scar that survivors like David Sallak say will never go away.

"We will heal," Sallak said. "But we're all different now."