The victims of the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas are being remembered publicly as the first anniversary of the attack approaches.
The Las Vegas Portraits Project/1 October Memorial opened Sept. 17 in the Rotunda Gallery of the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas. At its core are tributes to the 58 people who died while attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival along the Strip.
More than 800 people were injured as Stephen Paddock shot into the crowd from his 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay. He later killed himself. A motive is still unknown.
Las Vegas’ abundant sunshine illuminates portraits of each of the victims. Some were painted by family members; others were created by strangers using published photographs and profiles. The artists are from the United States, Canada, Greece and Peru.
The 58 crosses placed at the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign in the aftermath of the Oct, 1, 2017, tragedy also are on display on tiered platforms. Victims’ photographs grace some of the white wooden crosses. Others contain handwritten personal memories such as “We will love you forever” and “See you in the next life.”
The memorial also includes “The Art of Healing,” a mural painted by students from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, a magnet high school, and the Guerrilla Artz Foundation of Las Vegas. Dozens of stained glass angels, crafted by volunteers from Angels of Love in Orange, Calif., are displayed beside a TV monitor showing photos of those who died.
People affected by the tragedy and its aftermath will find support at the memorial. Trained therapists from the American Red Cross will be on hand, as will therapy dogs from Michael’s Angel Paws of Las Vegas.
The paintings will be given to family members of the victims. The crosses will go into storage, for preservation purposes, at the Clark County Museum.
The Clark County Government Center is at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in Las Vegas. The memorial will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday through Oct. 19. Admission is free.