Mass shootings have been on the rise in the United States since the early 2000s, but until the heartbreak of the 1 October 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, the citizens of Las Vegas had never experienced the violence and tragedy of this now all-too-frequent occurrence. That day, fifty-eight people were shot to death on site, while another two victims later died of their injuries. The 1 October incident physically wounded nearly 900 concert-goers, but psychologically impacted countless untold victims.
As individual and institutional response to urgent requests for help came in both during and after the 1 October catastrophe, those who call Las Vegas home struggled to cope with pain and grief. Now, editor Roberta Sabbath draws together a collection of personal essays, oral histories, interviews, scholarly writings, and commentaries to remember those whose lives were lost, and to honor survivors and their loved ones. Written five years after the tragedy, each contribution offers a unique story of healing, demonstrating the wide-ranging experiences and repercussions of the event. The essays in this collection represent a broad diversity of voices from political leaders, health professionals, first responders, community members, and incident survivors. This work is dedicated to those who lost their lives on 1 October 2017, to survivors and their loved ones, and to the caregivers—both individual and institutional—all of whom continue to keep Vegas Strong.
“Vegas Strong is thoughtful, touching, and a reminder of this absurdly violent era in which we live. It is a caring tribute to those who survived and honors those who died.”
—John L. Smith, Las Vegas journalist, author of Saints, Sinners, and Sovereign Citizens: The Endless War Over the West’s Public Lands
“Sabbath has created an emotional collection of stories that touched my heart. This is a significant contribution to the history of 1 October.”
—Michelle Follette Turk, assistant visiting professor of history, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, author of Gambling with Lives: A History of Occupational Health in Las Vegas