Gov. Sandoval: One year after IHOP tragedy, our community stands strong
For the Appeal
A year ago today, Carson City experienced an unspeakable event in the tragic shooting at our local IHOP restaurant. Whether you were at work, school, home or going about your day, you no doubt remember Sept. 6, 2011, and the senseless act of violence that touched our community. Fear and anxiety was followed by a sense of urgency and the desire to do something; and these emotions turned into sadness and grief. But through it all, as members of the Nevada family, we found each other.
That moment in time was 365 days ago. And while we can each recall the emotions and actions that followed, we can take comfort as we consider the full story of the aftermath. Through that tragedy, as we remember those sons and daughters who we lost that day, we have seen our community rise, rebuild, recover and reclaim the essence of what makes this a great place to live. Carson City has come together and stands strong. As Sheriff Ken Furlong so amply said, “This community drove itself to recovery.” I agree.
Like you, I remember vividly the events of that day. But I also remember the courageous victims, families, first responders and people on the street who wrapped their arms around those impacted. Countless citizens, businesses and organizations pitched in, in their own way, to comfort those injured. The healing began, and it was not because of any one person. It was because of everyone.
One example of that healing was the JAC bus driver who pulled up in front of the Sheriff’s Office with victims from the shooting who had escaped without physical injury, but were emotionally shaken, scared and in need of care. It was moving to see this driver and the concern he had for his fellow man. He played a pivotal role that day and showed the true character of Carson City. He is representative of our community and I couldn’t be more proud.
I am also reminded of the strength and resolve of the men and women of the Nevada National Guard. Their courage at such a difficult time will always be a source of inspiration for me.
As a father, husband, brother, and as Governor of this great state of Nevada, I am humbled by the strength demonstrated by all of you in the aftermath of this horrific act. I am equally humbled by the force of resolution this community has shown to not be defined by a single act of violence. I take pride in the coordinated response of state and local emergency personnel, and in the simple acts of kindness demonstrated by this community.
I understand from speaking with those in positions of public safety that there is a growing symbol of recovery in use across the country. That symbol is one of putting your hands together in the shape of a heart. The heart is bringing cities, counties and states across our great back from places of despair. We’ve seen it right here in Carson City.
I wrote in this very newspaper last year at this time, “We must commit ourselves to fulfilling America’s promise of opportunity through actions as well as remembrance. We must choose to stand as one.”
Today, one year later, our community stands strong. We have embraced our true community spirit and we must continue to choose to do what’s right and good for our community and our state. We are all in this together as one family, the Nevada family.
• Gov. Brian Sandoval can be reached through his website, gov.nv.gov.