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'A time to remember' seven lives
By John Carpenter | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 10:08 PM

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Originally published Jan. 8, 1994

"This is real," Pastor Michael Newman said of the mass murder one year ago at the Brown's Chicken & Pasta restaurant. "This is life. And it is not easy."

Newman was addressing a memorial service marking the anniversary of the slayings.

Attended by about 150 people, including family members of victims and several members of the task force investigating the still-unsolved mass murder, the low-key service was billed as "A Time to Remember."

"But it is not a time to remember seven murder victims," Palatine Village President Rita Mullins said. "It is a time to remember seven beautiful lives.

"Palatine was a wonderful place to live before Jan. 8, 1993," Mullins said. "And it still is a wonderful place."

Newman said the service is an important part of the healing both for the victims' families and for members of the community. It was sponsored by the Religious Association of Palatine, with several religious leaders participating.

"May our time together help us to know healing for our hearts and minds, for our bodies and our souls," said Rev. Robert Kettelhut of St. Paul Unitarian Community Church.

"Hear us in our frustration, when we start to wonder who and why," prayed Rev. Russell Skorburg, of the Palatine Presbyterian Church.

Television and newspaper cameras were not allowed in the service. But a video camera was running in the lobby, filming those who attended for the Palatine force investigating the murders.

Members of the task force stationed in the lobby acknowledged the camera was for them, but would not elaborate.

Newman attempted to end the service on an upbeat note, urging those in attendance to remember that, while the mass murder was real, "the comfort you feel here is also real. ... Grief does not have the last word."