By: Tomi Simmons
Las Vegas, Nevada a city of chance, lights are our stars, and mountains are our roadmaps. I have grown up in Vegas my entire life, my entire family has. My father and mother moved there in the eighty’s during middle school, and built our family around it. They have seen it grow from a city centered around Fremont Street to one that is centered around its people. It is a big city-small community, everyone knows everyone, everyone remembers everyone. Though the outsiders see gambling, parties, and luxury, the citizens know the truth, that there are everyday hardworking people that inhabit Las Vegas. It is home. Even when a man decides to obliterate over 500 lives, killing 58 people in the process. It is home.
The night the Las Vegas shooting happened, I was fast asleep in McPherson, Kansas in my college dorm. However, in my slumber, I randomly awoke without reason at 3am central time. My body felt strange, and my heart was beating out of its chest. Confused, I checked my phone and found a string of text messages, news alerts, and social media posts about what was happening in my home. Never could I imagine someone terrorizing my town, my heart broke for my city, and I reached out to everyone I love in Las Vegas.
As that next day went on, the death toll rose, the hospitals were overcrowded, and people were stranded away from the hotels. I felt disconnected from my family, the people I had grown up with, and the community. They were on cloud nine, and I was stuck somewhere. My mother and father work at the hospitals in Las Vegas, I so badly wanted to comfort them in a time where their hearts would be breaking from the sights they would see.
This night changed the way the world sees Las Vegas. The people around me now understand this city is more than casinos or chance, it is built up on a community and compassion. This tragedy has brought out the human spirit. Though miles away, my heart loves and believes in my city more than anything.