CHICAGO (WLS) -- She was traumatized by the Highland Park shooting and is now tasked with helping her community to heal.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering is making it her mission to enact a federal ban on assault-style weapons.
She was marching in the parade on the Fourth of July, when seven people were killed and dozens more were hurt by a gunman on a roof.
"We are coming to grips with the fact that this is going to be a very long journey for all of us," Rotering said. "The reality is now setting in after the initial shock. A lot of us still can't believe this actually happened in our community. But now we're looking to each other for support as we try to figure out our next steps forward."
Rotering has traveled to Washington, D.C., twice since the shooting to deliver powerful testimony about that horrific day as she calls for a ban on assault weapons.
"I don't think many people recognize the real, graphic devastation that happens when this type of shooting comes to a community," Rotering said.
Rotering said she's encouraged by what she's heard from the White House and the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, adding that she's also in conversations with state leaders.
"Let's be honest," Rotering said. "We as a nation aren't free until these assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are out of the country."
Rotering also said a permanent memorial will be erected in Highland Park as a place for the community to reflect and remember the victims.