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Virtual ceremony in Spanish honors Oct. 1 shooting victims, survivors

Updated October 2, 2020 - 7:32 am

A virtual remembrance ceremony for Spanish speakers was one of several #VegasStronger activities held to honor victims and survivors of the Route 91 Harvest festival tragedy on Oct. 1, 2017.

The event was held in Spanish as an effort to commemorate and recognize all survivors and victims, including Erick Silva, the 21-year-old security guard who was killed while trying to help others escape.

The event highlighted the importance of staying connected to achieve long-term healing and resiliency with inspirational speeches, words of faith and musical tributes.

“October 1 touched and changed everyone’s lives,” Las Vegas City Councilwoman Olivia Diaz said. “There are difficult times when we may not bloom but with time, self-love and support from loved ones can help us live a life with more meaning. Continue to plant those seeds of hope and gratitude; these will help harvest the fruits of life you desire.”

Make the Road Nevada legally supported the undocumented workers at the festival who were not being provided health services or included as an affected group after the shooting.

Three years later, Leo Murrieta, executive director of Make the Road Nevada, said it is still difficult to talk about but he was glad to see those he helped on the screen Thursday night.

“It’s amazing to see you and it brings me so much joy to see you and how much you have grown in these three years past the trauma,” Murrieta said. “We keep being Vegas strong.”

This year’s virtual event felt different from previous events, said host Perla Sanchez, operations manager of Silver State Health, because it’s not the same to see people on a computer screen instead of embracing them in person.

Silver State Health provides free bilingual mental and physical health services for those affected by the Route 91 tragedy.

“Thank you for keeping my son’s legacy alive,” Silva’s mom, Angelica Cervantes, said in response to the support she’s received. “I’m sure he would have liked to save more people that night. But he died doing what he most loved, helping people.”

Contact Jannelle Calderon at jcalderon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @NewsyJan on Twitter.

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