Monday, October 9, 2017

A visit to Las Vegas - A tribute to those we lost last week

This week I am in Las Vegas with my good friend, Glenn. The trip was planned months ago, and we had no idea that we would be visiting here at a time of such grief. Since we had some free time this morning, Glenn and I decided to visit the makeshift memorial that is near the Mandalay Bay Hotel, the concert site and the old Las Vegas welcome sign.

This blog post is dedicated to all those who lost their lives, and their friends and family.

Many people who come to Las Vegas like to take their photo in front of this sign on Las Vegas Boulevard. This would be the normal view.

Now this site is covered by flowers and many other tributes to the victims of this senseless crime. I framed this photo to include the flowers, the sign, the #Vegasstrong poster and the Mandalay Bay Hotel, all part of the story.

I saw this hat from the Manila on top of this large flower arrangement, and liked the many positive messages. I focused on the hat, changed my aperture to f/2.8, and got down low to include the sign in the background.

There are so many candles, cowboy boots, hats, CDs and other items. It is heartbreaking.

The signs for the concert are still up, and the police have cordoned off the area.

Looking up at the hotel, you can see where they have boarded up the two windows used by the mass murder.

There are hundreds of people lined up to walk through the memorial, with 58 crosses identifying all the people killed by this one horrible person.

As I read the names and messages, two things struck me. First, It seemed that their were an inordinate amount of females killed in this tragic event. (I just looked it up and it looks like 2/3 of the deceased were woman.) And secondly, I kept thinking to myself, "How could one person be so evil to do this cowardly act to all these innocent people?"

Even though it has been a week since the killings, people are still coming to drop off flowers, candles and more. There is even a group or people handing out free water to anyone who comes to the memorial. That alone made me happy, that people are showing the positive side of human nature at a time and place where there is not much positive to reflect on. (I was surprised that so many people were visiting the sign and doing jumps and other "fun" selfies in front of it, with all this remembrance surrounding the area. That seemed disrespectful to me.)

One cross after another...

I got down low to shoot this photo of the flags blowing, with the Mandalay Bay Hotel in the background, when I saw something poignant in the background.

Through the flags, I saw this woman praying. I quickly refocused on her and shot numerous photos to get her surrounded by the waving flags.

Last night was extremely windy here in Las Vegas and the desert sand was obviously blown everywhere, even here at the memorial. I saw this poster with photos of the deceased and thought that it said so much. I guess, like the band Kansas said, we are just dust in the wind.