1 year after Las Vegas shooting: Remembering victims, survivors of the massacre
It was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history and a day many are still trying to heal from.
Monday marks one year since the devastating and tragic shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
On Oct. 1, 2017, more than 22,000 people gathered for a country music festival. But as the festival’s final headlining act Jason Aldean was performing, gunfire erupted and chaos ensued.
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“What gets lost sometimes is that the impact to that 22,000 is trauma,” Kevin Schiller from Clark Country told Global News. “We have 45 million tourists a year. With this event, I think it really brought out our community banding together. For outreach for everyone … recognizing they were here and not expecting this to happen and we want to make sure we are there to support them.”
In the end, 58 people were killed, including four Canadians, and 869 others were injured.
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Tara Roe Smith grew up in Brandon, Man. and moved to Okotoks, Alta., where she worked as a model and an educational assistant in the Calgary area. She was killed in the attack.
Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alta., was visiting Las Vegas with her fiancee when she was shot and killed at the festival. She left behind four children.
Calla Medig of Jasper, Alta., was also killed at the festival. The 28-year-old was taking time off from her job at a west Edmonton Moxie’s restaurant in order to enjoy Las Vegas with her roommate.
Jordan McIldoon of Maple Ridge, B.C. was days away from celebrating his 24th birthday when he was killed by the shooter.
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In the weeks and months after the shooting, people from around the world reached out to donate not just money, but their time and talents to help bring light in a dark time.
Portraits of the 58 people killed went on display in Las Vegas after artists from around the world donated came to the city to help memorialize the victims.
The portraits come in various sizes and shapes. Some are in colour and others are black and white. Some show a smiling face, while others place their subject at the beach or in the woods.
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One of those portraits was done by Amanda Roth, a 33-year-old art teacher from Redondo Beach, Calif., who was at the concert with friends with the gunfire broke out.
She signed onto the project to paint a picture of McIldoon and said it helped her work through her own experience at the shooting.
“I came home, tried to sleep and tried to forget about it,” she said. “I didn’t quite process it until I started painting Jordan.”
She played country music while she worked and was able to speak to Mclldoon’s mother to learn more about him and look at family photos.
“Jordan became this kind of guardian angel for me. He kind of guided me through this and helped heal me a little bit more,” Roth said.
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Each of those portraits, along with a cross made for each victim, will be on display during a sunrise ceremony on the anniversary of the shooting on Monday.
“Our community will never forget the lives lost in the 1 October shooting or those who were injured or have been affected by the tragedy,” Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said. “We continue to be touched by the outpouring of compassion and support we have received from people around the world and we hope this exhibit is a source of comfort to those who lost loved ones and support for all those affected.”
On Monday morning, starting at 6:30 a.m., victims families, survivors and officials will come together to honour the lives lost.
The remembrance will include 58 seconds of silence, a multi-agency honour guard, music from The Academy Singers from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and the release of 58 doves.
It will be live streamed for all of those who were not able to make the trip to Las Vegas.
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— With files from the Associated Press
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