Last Sunday evening I was awakened by a phone call from my brother in sheer panic demanding to know if I was at the annual Route 91 concert. A fair question as I frequent country concerts and this time last year would have been on the west side of the stage singing the words back to the headliner.
While I was not in attendance that night, many of my friends were. I cannot even begin to comprehend how it felt to be there that night and my heart truly goes out to them and the first responders who went above and beyond.
I struggle to find the words to describe how personal this is. If you’re not a local you may not realize in all actuality what a small town Las Vegas is, on top of that, the country community is just as small and just as close, if not more tight-knit. I’ve heard many people ask why so many of us are upset by this, “But did you know them personally? Were you close?”. As if there has to be a justification for being heartbroken by an attack on thousands of innocent people as if there is a hierarchy to be allowed to be touched by this tragedy.
I feel Keith Urban described it best when he was speaking with Bobby Bones that Monday morning stating, “First of all they were just innocent human beings out having a great time who were horrifically taken. As well that’s the country music community. They’re family. That’s basically like saying to me like people who are in the congregation at our church. I may not know them but we go to the same church.”
We are all a part of the same church.
But now a week later, I do not want to focus on the pain, because there is plenty of that, and stories that no individual should have to share in their lifetime. I am so proud how this community has come together in such dark times. I’m so proud of the strength of my friends, whether they realize it now or not.
Countless fundraisers, currently over $10 million in one fundraiser alone in a week’s time. There have been walks, runs, concerts, restaurants all donating and banding the community together in order to help those affected by this tragedy. So many individuals coming out to donate blood that lines wrapped around buildings, waiting in line for hours on end. It’s truly humbling and shows the world that Vegas is so much more than Sin City.
So many, myself included, felt the need to help, to do something to help, and we can still do something today.
If you would like to donate blood, please schedule an appointment with the American Red Cross: http://rdcrss.org/1kbe8xB
There are also countless shirts, stickers and so many other items for sale with proceeds going to the victims, but do be sure that they are legitimate fundraisers before donating.
A sincere thank you to everyone who has helped this city and the victims in their time of need.
We are all Vegas strong.