Utah Ghosts of Victims of Las Vegas Shooting Came to Comfort
On the night of October 1, 2017, the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas became the site of one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.
I remember hearing the details of this shocking event from our friend and colleague DJ Tishner. DJ was in attendance and thankfully a survivor of the shooting. He was an exceptional source of healing and understanding for those of us who struggled to wrap our minds around this heart-wrenching event.
What was meant to be a night of music took a dark and tragic turn. A lone gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, raining bullets down on the unsuspecting crowd below.
The toll was devastating: 58 lives were lost, and over 800 people were injured in the hail of gunfire. The Route 91 Harvest Festival became a symbol not only of tragedy but also of the strength of the human spirit to endure and rebuild.
The Las Vegas community and the entire nation rallied around the victims and survivors of the Route 91 shooting. Donations poured in to support those affected, and countless acts of kindness emerged from the darkness.
One of the acts of kindness came in the form of “The Healing Garden” a special piece of land donated by the city and developed by survivors of the shooting and family members of some of the victims.
I had the chance to spend last weekend with a group polishing rocks, blowing out leaves, and touching up paint to further beautify this already gorgeous garden.
I noted two special people Cameron Robinson was from St. George,
And Heather Alvarado from Cedar City.
While there I learned about a touching moment in the garden's history. As the garden was being finished the city decided it would be healing to read the victim's names on the anniversary of the shooting.
On October 1, 2018, Mayor Goodwin stood on the raised platform and began to read the victims' names to a host of mourners and family supporters who had been invited to continue, begin, or consider the healing process.
As she read the names a tall cloud in the sky that looked like a monument cast a unique shadow up into the sky. The beam seemed to descend from the heavens and point to the gathering of people in the garden. Here is a photo of it from another angle.
It was so dramatic that it caught the attention of many in the group, including Mayor Goodwin who took a moment to interrupt her reading and mention how the curiosity in the sky looked like the victims were descending to tell them that they were all OK. Here is the picture.
What do you think? Was this phenomenon a spiritual indication that the victims are aware of us and want to comfort us? I think so and to me this event is indicative that they want us to heal and to, as the garden encourages us, “let love win”.