Exactly one week ago my hometown, the city of Las Vegas, was shaken by a horrible tragedy. A terrorist who I refuse to call by name opened fire on festival goers at Route 91, a country festival that takes place near the strip. The results of this were 58 people killed and over 500 injured. Honestly even typing it now I can’t really believe it. This past week has been one of the longest and saddest of living in Las Vegas. As someone who recently attended my first music festival, it breaks my heart that thousands of people just came out to have fun and see some of their favorite artists and that someone could be so evil to turn what should be a wonderful memory into the worst day of those people’s lives. That’s the weird space I’m in because even though I wasn’t there and wasn’t anywhere near the strip I still feel so sad, scared, and forever shaped by this shooting. If that’s how I feel…imagine how those who were there feel. I can’t even imagine how the families and friends of those who lost their lives feel. I can’t imagine the trauma of the festival goers who survived and how deeply this will impact their lives…forever.
If there’s one positive thing I can take away about this nauseating event is that it has showed me how much the people of Las Vegas come together when shit gets rough. The next morning (literally) the blood banks had lines that took all day to stand in. Various businesses across down are making donations. Some companies are event donating 100% of their proceeds to the victims and their families. These are just a few of the many ways the city has come together after a weekend that will certainly change the dynamic of our city forever. I’ve always been someone who is proud as hell to be Vegas Raised. In undergrad at San Diego State people knew I was from Las Vegas, NV within .5 seconds of meeting me. I even got a tattoo of Nevada with a heart where Vegas is my freshman year of college because of how much I missed my city. Vegas is somewhere that’s hard to describe to people not from here. You really just won’t understand the vibe of Las Vegas unless you live here for an extended period of time. Contrary to popular belief, Vegas is a small place to live in. Everybody damn near knows everybody. That being said every person who lives here probably knew someone who was at that festival. That’s what makes it even more…real. I had two co-workers who went and I was relieved to know they were okay within moments of the news breaking. Others weren’t so lucky to receive this news. It’s different when you read about these things happening in places all over the world and when it happens right in your backyard. One thing I know I will be able to say now is that Vegas sticks together when it matters.
I originally wasn’t going to say anything about this on my blog because I couldn’t process this tragedy (and I’m still struggling with it) but I decided that wouldn’t be fair to those who no longer are able to say anything. I want to say that I will keep my thoughts and prayers with the families and loved ones of those who has passed, those who were there and survived, and my city overall. During this time I hope that everyone is taking time to take care of themselves. Self-care is essential. Life is short and you never know when someone’s last moments are. Love a little harder and be kind, to others and to yourself. I love this city and my love for it has grown even more after this. We are Vegas Strong.
This post is dedicated to all the victims of the Route 91 shooting. Rest In Peace.
“When you lose someone you love, you gain an angel you know.”