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Route 91

Route 91 Harvest Survivors Gather For Private Event To Mark 1-Year Anniversary

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LAS VEGAS (CelebrityAccess) The one year anniversary the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, is tomorrow, Oct. 1, and remembrances are already beginning including a special concert held in Las Vegas for the survivors.

One year ago, on a Sunday night, shots rained down upon a country music crowd from a window at Mandalay Bay casino, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds. The official story is that a lone gunman with an arsenal of weaponry unloaded upon the crowd below, although the FBI and other authorities have yet to produce a clear picture as to what actually happened.

Meanwhile, throughout the year, security at festivals and events became even more secure, including the visible presence of snipers and sniper nests, not only at country music festivals but at events like Coachella. Concerns over gun safety were once again raised as were concerns over the locations of outdoor events.

Among all this, hundreds of survivors gathered Saturday in the Centennial Hills neighborhood of Las Vegas for a private reunion concert, with only those who attended Route 91 Festival last year and their families and friends invited.

“After almost a year, it’s been hard. I’ve been dealing with PTSD,” Alaina Laswell, a Route 91 survivor, told Gabby Hart of KSNV’s News 3 Las Vegas.

The show’s opening ceremony was a survivor singing the national anthem and was later followed with tributes made to the 58 victims and first responders, according to KSNV.

Organizers also created a remembrance wall.

The performances even included a song called “Vegas Strong.”

One of the organizers was survivor Shawna Bartlett who, while coping with PTSD, spent months putting the event together.

“I’ve had the amazing honor of meeting so many people that I never even knew existed. And to be able to call them family and friend now, it’s amazing to have that. It has helped me to heal. I dealt with survivors guilt for a long time after that night,” Bartlett told Las Vegas’ New 3.

The event was the first time many of the survivors have attended a large outdoor event in the past year, Bartlett said.

“There were a lot of people on the Route 91 Facebook support group saying ‘I don’t know if I wanna go’ and ‘I wanna throw in the towel’ and I kept telling them, love wins!”

The event included heavy security and police presence as well as therapy dogs.

“Something was taken from them that night, and it was important to let them know you can have that back,” Bartlett said.

More than 2,300 tickets were sold, according to News 3, with proceeds benefiting One October victims.

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