A Place Of Healing Keeps Vegas Strong
LAS VEGAS - We know how important the Oklahoma City Memorial is to us. Now, Las Vegas has a permanent memorial to remember the lives lost there, after a gunman opened fire on a packed concert. It's become a place of healing.
"I have to make peace," said Liz Huey, Las Vegas resident. "I heard every shot that was fired that night."
About four miles north of the Las Vegas strip, sits a place Liz Huey couldn't find the strength to visit, until now. She lives near where the shooting happened.
"It's really, really been scary, overwhelming, eye-opening, and very humbling to be here," Huey said.
There's symbolism throughout the memorial that was put up by volunteers. Fifty-eight trees stand for the 58 people killed. There's an oak tree in the middle representing the strength of a community and what's come to be known as Vegas Strong. And then there are the personal stories out here, the faces of this tragedy. Like 20-year-old Quinton Rollins, an athlete, outdoorsman and coach for a five-year-old t-ball team.
"These were real people with real lives and real families," she said. "They had children, brothers, mothers and fathers."
As different as their stories - are the stories of the people who are coming to visit. Like Laura from Arizona, who ran from gunfire and vowed to never return to Las Vegas. On this day, she did with her family by her side. She says she came as a way to heal and being here has helped.
Some came to share their stories of survival with each other and to face their fears. Others came out to honor those lives taken way too soon.
"I know people sit out here for hours and pray and talk to their loved ones because this is the only place they can get closure," said Huey.
Las Vegas's city manager, the city will look at replacing the remembrance wall with a sturdier one. The one there now was made out of wooden pallets. However, he says they don't want to change the look of it as it was the community's vision of a healing spot.