Waukesha Parade Memorial Commission selects 3 designs to become permanent memorials

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Waukesha community is taking a significant step forward in memorializing the victims and survivors of the Christmas parade attack.

The Parade Memorial Commission voted on three designs to become permanent memorials.

Thrive Architects designed the selected memorials for Grede Park and Main Street.

The commission also voted to place a sculpture by artist Carmen De La Paz in or near the entrance of Grede Park.

A heart immediately became a symbol of "Waukesha Strong" in the days after the parade, and the designs that incorporated that symbol are the ones that stood out to both the commission and the community.

"A heart with the idea that it is something that's here today, tomorrow, and it should be a heart that's going to be out there in the future," Parade Memorial Commission Chair Gerald Couri said.

The larger memorial at Grede Park will consist of ribbons coming together in the shape of a heart, surrounded by landscaping and benches.

The smaller memorial on Main Street follows a similar theme and features the "Waukesha Strong" icon.

"Overwhelmingly, that seemed to be the biggest thing that people wanted in their comments," Parade Memorial Commission Member Alicia Halvensleben said.

The sculpture by De La Paz is of two hands holding a heart.

The commission would like to see some revisions made to the designs, such as better inclusion of all victims, survivors and groups impacted by the tragedy.

"What is going to incite people - to many years from now - to say what happened, how it happened," Couri said.

The final designs will come back to the commission for approval before going on to the parks board and the planning commission.

The commission's suggested timeline predicts construction will begin in March and be completed in November 2023.

Fundraising has already begun. Donations can be made here.

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