Thousands of festive country music fans gathered at an outdoor concert venue on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night, and within minutes shortly after 10 p.m., shots from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino rang out, mowing down hundreds of innocent victims and killing 59.
The horror of the nation’s worst mass killing is unthinkable, especially when this tragedy occurred in our own backyard.
To the Clark County first responders, we thank you for your dedication and courage to rescue as many people as possible, and for putting your own lives in peril. Although distance separates our Northern Nevada communities from the Entertainment Capital of the World, our hearts pulsate with grief. This is a time for us to link arms, from one end of the state to the other, and support each other.
While some Nevadans have pointed to two “states” within one because of ideology and politics, those feelings are insignificant as all of us try to understand this senseless act committed by a 64-year-old man. There is no division of silver and blue, scarlet and gray ‑ today we are all wrapped in Nevada blue, overcome with sorrow and tears yet full of compassion for our fellow Nevadans and visitors to our state affected by this senseless tragedy.
Taken away from us Sunday night were fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, sons and daughters … people from many walks of life including law enforcement officers and veterans.
People are standing in line for hours waiting to give blood, some churches have sent their pastors to Las Vegas as part of a crisis counseling team and other residents and organizations have begun collecting donations for the victims’ families.
Many area churches tolled their bells Tuesday morning, one toll for each shooting victim, and afterward they opened their doors for visitors who wanted to pray or meditate for both the Las Vegas victims and for others who have been affected by violence of any kind.
And in this day of finger pointing by politicians and political groups, it has been comforting that our state’s elected officials have come together as one voice — not as Republicans and Democrats — to pay their respects by honoring those killed and injured and praising the heroism of first responders. Furthermore, Gov. Brian Sandoval has once again shown his leadership in a crisis situation, which he has done before when tragedy struck Carson City six years ago after a gunman killed four people at the IHOP restaurant and when six people lost their lives in an Amtrak crash north of Fallon.
May we leave you with several thoughts.
This is a time to heal and not to second guess by dissecting the incident. That’s for investigators.
“In moments of tragedy and horror, the nation comes together as one,” said President Donald Trump.
We owe it to the victims and their families for them to grieve without social media squabbling and the uncivility that permeates such sites.
Contribute to one of several GoFundMe sites or donate blood.
Our Facebook cover indicates we are “One Nevada” and encourage all of our fellow Nevadans to share. We, too, feel your loss. Our outpouring of support defines who we are.
And finally, the words from poet John Donne’s “Meditation XVII” ring loudly once again: “… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
This editorial represents our condolences from the editors and staff at the Nevada Appeal and the Lahontan Valley News.