Establishments on the Las Vegas Strip lowered their lights on Sunday, October 8, to pay tribute to the victims of the recent mass shooting there and mark that it had been a week since a gunman fired hundreds of rounds of bullets into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The businesses that participated dimmed their bright lights and neon marquees from 10:05 p.m. to 10:16 p.m. Even the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign bowed its head for a moment of darkness during the event. An official Las Vegas visitors organization shared a heartening message about the dimming of the lights:
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority helped to promote the remembrance display. According to the organization's website, "When things get dark, Las Vegas shines." Thus, the tweet of the Strip in black and white helped to underscore the significance of the moment.
Apparently, more than 50 businesses, including casinos and hotels, took part in the event by dimming their lights in remembrance. The event lasted for 11 minutes, the time of the duration of the mass shooting. Many people on social media took notice of the event and posted pictures of the dimmed lights. For example, this Twitter user showed a picture of the lights turned down throughout the city:
The quieted lights in that picture manage to show the solidarity among the businesses in Las Vegas while also illustrating the somber tone of the city since the mass shooting. Many people who were in Las Vegas during the event are still having trouble talking about what happened and expressing how they felt, so people from disaster-relief organizations like the Red Cross have flown in to help out with the mental and emotional trauma.
It is not the first time Las Vegas has dimmed its lights to remember lives lost. The city paused to reflect with a moment of darkness after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Similarly, the Strip has turned down the lights in remembrance of stars like Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. It went dark after the deaths of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, and most recently, Sin City remembered UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian after his death in February 2015.
On October 1, gunman Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 individuals by shooting round after round of bullets from rifles enhanced with bump stock devices. He shot from the thirty-second floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Since the news broke, there have been demonstrations and vigils. People have come out in droves to support blood banks to help victims. Doctors have made themselves available for free talk therapy sessions and trauma treatments. Celebrities have paid tribute with songs of peace.
At the same time, investigators have been working around the clock to discover new details and figure out what happened. Hopefully, the whole story will eventually come to light.