Clark County Museum exhibit to remember 'How We Mourned' after One October


A year ago, when the sun rose that Monday morning, our grieving began for the 58 lives lost and for the thousands more lives affected.

What Las Vegas saw was an outpouring of public grief exhibited at spots throughout the city.

“This is our look back at the ad hoc memorials from the October First event,” Mark Hall-Patton, the Administrator of the Clark County Museum, said while standing in a new exhibit getting its finishing touches.

At the museum, they've collected, cataloged and preserved the thousands of items people left behind at the various memorials that emerged in Las Vegas.

“Each individual artifact may only have this much information, but when you put this collection together in the future, there will be a vast amount of information to understand about who we are and how we mourned,” Hall-Patton said.

Which is the title of this new exhibit, which opens Friday: "How we mourned." In it, you will find a portion of the museum's 15,000 artifacts from October 1st.

“This exhibit displays 3,000 of the most representative, the most common types of objects that were at the display,” says Curator Malcolm Vuksich.

The exhibit space is full of objects that remember, objects that bring pride and objects that bring peace.

There are flags, teddy bears with hand-written condolences, a Hawaiian lei, signed banners from around the country, even artifacts sent from overseas.

“This is an international memorial. This is something where people flew into town from overseas, and brought things and left them here,” Hall-Patton says.

For the past year, Hall-Patton estimates the museum has spent 7,000 hours carefully photographing, documenting, preserving and keeping these things left behind that have become part of our history. The museum staff of four has been helped by an army of volunteers who spend several days each week making sure these artifacts are not misplaced or lost.

“This will be part of our collection for 100 years, 200 years -- I use 200 years, but basically in perpetuity,” Hall-Patton says.

The exhibit runs through February 24.

The most famous artifacts, the 58 crosses that stood at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, are also in the museum collection. They’re currently on display at the Clark County Government Center until October 19th.

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