A clear majority of respondents to a survey – 65.5 percent -- indicated that it is “extremely” or “very important” that a memorial for the events of 1 October 2017 should be built at the Route 91 Harvest Festival site on the Las Vegas Strip.
Some 43.3 percent said it is “extremely important” and 22.2 percent described it as “very important.” Notably, more than half of all groups in the survey expressed this preference, with survivors feeling most strongly that the memorial be located at the event site.
Fewer than one in five respondents (17.6 percent) felt it is extremely or very important that the memorial not be located at the event site (11.7 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively). Among those who responded this way, more than one in four reported to have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (27.6 percent) or to have lost a member of his or her extended family or a close friend (28.1 percent).
The question is one of 15 asked of the public March 1-14 and unveiled today by the 1 October Memorial Committee, a seven-member panel appointed by the Clark County Commission to gather input from the public and develop recommendations for a permanent memorial in the Las Vegas Valley. The goal is to create a lasting memorial that remembers the victims, honors the survivors and first responders, and celebrates the resiliency of our community. 6,066 people took part in the survey.
In response to a query about the “importance of possible features/additional considerations”:
- Nearly three in four (73.1 percent) respondents rated education about the event as extremely or very important.
- Seven in 10 (70.6 percent) felt it is extremely or very important that the memorial appeal to all ages.
- More than six in 10 (62.5 percent) said addressing the issue of mass casualty violence is extremely or very important.
- Six in 10 respondents (60.1 percent) deemed an artistic feature extremely or very important.
- An ability to leave mementos to commemorate victims and survivors was extremely or very important to 57 percent of respondents. Families and friends of victims and survivors felt most strongly. However, all groups of survey respondents shared the priority.
- An interactive component was extremely or very important to a quarter (25 percent) of respondents.
The survey provided an opportunity for respondents to suggest additional memorial features. Common themes among the important “other” ideas included honoring the victims, survivors, and first and community responders; opportunities for music to be incorporated, which include multiple mentions of performance space; opportunities for quiet reflection; avoiding politics and mentions of the perpetrator; and not having a new memorial.
When asked to provide a single word describing the most important aspect for the memorial, respondents offered 784 terms or phrases. The words most frequently suggested were remembrance, respect, honor, healing, unity, peace, community and love.
“We are hopeful that we have a firm basis for this important project with the number of responses received,” said Committee Chairwoman Tennille Pereira. “We are grateful for all those that participated and look forward to on-going community engagement.”
The multifaceted outreach effort appeared successful. More than 64 percent discovered the survey through newsletters, intranet sites, email blasts, Facebook or from their employer or workplace. The committee also achieved its goal to ensure broad and diverse participation. Geographically, 81 percent of respondents were from Nevada, 18 percent were based elsewhere in the nation, and 1 percent were from outside the United States.
Respondents were also diverse in the ways they were affected by 1 October. Nearly half of respondents (47.7 percent) identified as a community member. One in five (20.1 percent) identified as survivors, nearly one in 10 (9.3 percent) were first responders or community responders, 6.3 percent lost a family member or friend, and 7.4 percent were family or friends of survivors. Nearly one in 10 (8.3 percent) indicated having been in the immediate vicinity at the time of the shooting. Among community members and otherwise affected respondents, there were many comments that referenced survivors’ guilt either directly or indirectly, using terms such as “I should/could have been there” or “I had tickets but didn’t go.”
“The response was great and it looks like we reached all kinds of people who were impacted,” said Bridget Kelly, manager of UNLV’s Cannon Survey Center, which administered the survey. “Between the impressive response and the depth of information people offered in comments, it’s clear that the community cares a great deal about what happens with this project.”
Officials emphasized that the survey is a first step in an ongoing community-wide conversation about the best way to memorialize what occurred. They said there would be additional opportunities for public input, which will include town hall meetings and likely additional surveys.
To follow the progress of this project, please visit www.ClarkCountyNV.gov/1OctoberMemorial and subscribe to email updates from the 1 October Memorial Committee. Additionally, you can follow the committee at www.Facebook.com/1OctoberMemorial. Look for postings on social media using the hashtag #1OctoberMemorial and follow the committee’s work as it determines how best to create a 1 October “Memorial to Remember.” Committee meetings are held at 9 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month and are aired live on Clark County Television, streamed on the committee’s Facebook page and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/ClarkCountyNV/live.
Members of the 1 October Memorial Committee include Tennille Pereira, director of the County’s Vegas Strong Resiliency Center, serving as Chairman; Karessa Royce, a 1 October survivor, serving as Vice Chairman; Mynda Smith, the sister of 1 October Victim Neysa Tonks; Andrew Walsh, Assistant Sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department who responded to the scene of the 1 October attack; architect Dr. Robert Fielden, who established the UNLV School of Architecture; Rebecca Holden, public art project manager for the city of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs; and Harold Bradford, a local artist and sign industry designer. Punam Mathur, a well-respected community leader and consultant, is facilitating committee meetings, while staff from Clark County’s Parks and Recreation Department and other departments will support the group’s activities.
Clark County Television is available in the Las Vegas area on Channel 4/1004 on Cox cable and on CenturyLink on Channels 4 and 1004 as well as in Laughlin on Channel 14 via Suddenlink. CCTV is also available in Boulder City on Channel 4 and in Moapa Valley on Digital Channel 50.3. One may watch CCTV on streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV via the YouTube app.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.4 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 9th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1.1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.