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1 October memorial to ‘bring healing to our community,’ approved by county

Updated September 5, 2023 - 1:50 pm

Clark County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to approve a design for the Forever One Memorial, which will honor the dozens who died and hundreds who were injured at the Route 91 Harvest festival in 2017.

The 7-person 1 October Memorial Committee was applauded and given proclamations by the commissioners for their four years of work, which led to the selection of JCJ Architecture to design the final memorial of the shooting.

“I know it was hard, and I know there was a lot of opinions, but I think that you guys did what is best going to represent the concept going forward for many years,” Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said during the meeting. “We never want to forget what happened.”

The commissioners also approved dissolving the committee during Tuesday’s meeting.

“When we took this role on and we agreed to do this project, we all knew the significance of it,” 1 October Memorial Committee chairperson Tennille Pereira said during the meeting. “We felt the weight of it, but we knew that we had to do it. The 1 October impacted community, the Route 91 community and family has been along on this journey with us and we could not have done it without them, our intention for this has always been to bring healing to our community.”

While Pereira spoke, committee members Mynda Smith and Karissa Royce silently wiped tears. Royce is a survivor of the shooting.

Smith briefly retold the story of October 1, 2017, when her 14-year-old nephew called to tell her Smith’s sister, Neysa Tonks, had died. She would later find hope in the community that rallied to support victims’ families, she said.

“I know the light that you are going to bring is going to overshadow the darkness for so many,” Smith said addressing JCJ Architecture.

A rendering of the Forever One Memorial includes 22,000 points of light, representing each concertgoer, and several items honoring the 58 people who died immediately after the shooting. Two others have died since, bringing the official death toll to 60.

A 58-foot tall tower of light and an area that’s 58-feet in diameter with 58 candles are included in the design concept. Soil from the shooting site will be included in the walls of the memorial, which will be constructed on a 2-acre lot at Reno Avenue and Giles Street.

After the hearing, Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill noted his wife’s membership on the committee and the work they both performed with the Metropolitan Police Department at the time of the shooting.

“We had to relive that over and over and over again,” McMahill said. “I think getting to this moment looks pretty cool. It’s going help out the survivors a lot, as well as all the first responders.”

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on X.

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