Hundreds gather to remember One October at Route 91 Reunion concert

Hundreds gather to remember One October at Route 91 Reunion concert

We are approaching one year since a gunman opened fire on a Route 91 Festival from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay.

More than 20,000 people were in that crowd. The gunfire killed 58 people and injured hundreds more.

Many of those survivors gathered for a private one-year reunion concert in Centennial Hills on Saturday.

The concert was only for people who were at the Route 91 Festival last year and their families, as well as the families of the 58 victims who lost their lives that tragic night.

“After almost a year, it’s been hard. I’ve been dealing with PTSD," said Alaina Laswell, a Route 91 survivor.

The event provided an opportunity for survivors and families to heal.

The day started with an opening ceremony of a survivor singing the national anthem. Later, tributes were made to the 58 victims and to first responders.

Some family members of the 58 attended, proudly wearing t-shirts in memory of their loved ones.

“It’s forever. I never get to hug him or kiss him or anything," said Janet Fraser, whose son died on One October.

Organizers also recreated a remembrance wall.

Shawna Bartlett is one of the people who spent months planning this concert. She’s coped with her PTSD by organizing events like this one to provide people with the support they need to move forward.

“I’ve had the amazing honor of meeting so many people that I never even knew existed. And to be able to call them family and friend now, it’s amazing to have that. It has helped me to heal. I dealt with survivors guilt for a long time after that night," said Bartlett.

For many of these survivors, this is the first time they’ve attended a large outdoor event since the night of the Route 91 Festival, and showing up wasn’t easy.

“There were a lot of people on the Route 91 Facebook support group saying ‘I don’t know if I wanna go’ and ‘I wanna throw in the towel’ and I kept telling them, 'Love wins!'" said Bartlett.

Organizers made sure to have extra security and police presence as well as therapy dogs for those having a hard time.

“Something was taken from them that night, and it was important to let them know you can have that back," Bartlett said.

And of course, the day included live music from several country music bands and artists.

Survivors holding hands, drinking beer and singing along showing us all what it means to be country music strong and Vegas Strong.

So many people and companies came together to make this event possible.

More than 2,300 tickets were sold and all of the proceeds are going to benefit One October victims.

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