Today Belongs To Las Vegas
On the two year anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Julia Messenger from Las Vegas writes about the impact of the attack
October 1, 2017
Route 91 Harvest Festival.
The deadliest mass shooting in American history.
One Man. 23 Guns. 10 Minutes.
58 Dead. Over 800 Injured. Thousands Affected.
You’ll see that people tend to use this day as fuel for a gun control conversation, but today is about gun control. Today isn’t about Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, or the NRA. In fact, today isn’t about politics at all. Today belongs to Las Vegas. Today is about remembrance.
We remember how we felt. Whether it was feeling the fear and terror at the concert and on the strip, or being at home, seeing the horrific news, hoping and praying that everything would turn out okay.
We remember how a city with the nickname “Sin City” rallied together and showed humanity after that inhumane event. How there were lines stretched for blocks to donate blood for the injured and how millions of dollars were raised to donate to victims and their families. How a brand new hockey team held a tribute for victims and honored first responders, later making it all the way to the Stanley Cup final and giving the city something to believe in again. How, two years later, you still walk around and see Vegas Strong plastered everywhere; buildings, cars, billboards, shirts, tattoos, you name it. How the biggest city in Nevada somehow felt small. For once, it wasn’t about race, religion, sexuality, gender, it was just simply about Las Vegas.
We remember the police officers, firefighters, security guards, doctors, nurses and workers at Sunrise Hospital, UMC of Southern Nevada, and Valley Hospital, and all the others there who stepped up to help save as many people as they could.
We remember the hundreds of people who were injured and the hundreds of survivors who still live with the trauma of that night.
We remember the 58 victims. We remember their names…
Charleston Hartfield, Brett Schwanbeck, Austin Meyer, Pati Mestas, Nicol Kimura, Christopher Hazencomb, Andrea Castilla, Carly Kreibaum, Steve Berger, Brian Fraser,
Derrick "Bo" Taylor, Denise Cohen, Christiana Duarte, Candice Bowers, Lisa Patterson, Rocio Guillen Rocha, Jordyn Rivera, Austin Davis, Laura Shipp, Keri Galvan, Tara Roe Smith, Calla Medig, Carrie Parsons, Cameron Robinson, Michelle Vo, Brennan Stewart, Erick Silva, Dorene Anderson, Heather Alvarado, Hannah Ahlers, Stacee Etcheber, Christopher Roybal, Victor Link, Melissa Ramirez, Kelsey Meadows, Dana Gardner, Bill Wolfe, Jr, Carrie Barnette, Thomas Day Jr, Jennifer Parks, Kurt Von Tillow, Jack Beaton, Denise Burditus, Sandy Casey, Angie Gomez, Jennifer Irvine, Jessica Klymchuk, Rhonda LeRocque, Jordan McIldoon, Sonny Melton, Adrian Murfitt, Rachel Parker, John Phippen, Quintin Robbins, Lisa Romero-Muniz, Bailey Schweitzer, Susan Smith, and Neysa Tonks.
We remember their families, friends, and all the people who have had to mourn their losses for the past two years and will for all the years to come.
We remember their lives; the lives that were so unfairly taken.
But they say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
What happened on 1 October will stay in Vegas and in our hearts; forever.
And two years ago this city gained 58 new lights, ones that will never go out.
Braver, Closer, Prouder, Stronger.
Today we remember, tomorrow we keep fighting.
Ways you can still help Las Vegas:
Donate to the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center
Visit http://everytown.org to learn more about gun safety and the fight for gun control and donate to help prevent gun violence.
Because of these events, hundreds of people are still affected with mental illnesses like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Donate to mental health organizations and learn about how mental health affects people in situations like these.
Give Blood! It may not seem immediate now, but hospitals are always in need of blood. Donate some in honor of Las Vegas and save a life while you’re at it! Visit https://www.vitalant.org/Home.aspx?utm_medium=bing to find the nearest time and place to donate blood.
Or donate to the American Red Cross and dedicate it to the loved ones of Las Vegas.