Fear and Confusion Brings Heroes to Action at Harvest Music Festival


The Las Vegas shooting is an event known as the greatest mass shooting this country has ever witnessed occurring on October 1, 2017, in Las Vegas at the Harvest Music festival.  Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old American mass murderer, was responsible for the act committed that same evening killing 59 people and injuring over 500.  Through the horrific headlines and gory pictures, there was another light to be shined on – the heroes.  There were countless heroic stories being spread on social media and news stations.


These acts of compassion were not the only ones recorded, but they were some of the most recognized.  Some stories of that night include the story of Jonathan Smith.  Jonathan Smith, a 30 year-old man, saved 30 people before he was shot in the neck and later spent that night in the hospital.  Another man, Rob Ledbetter, a 42 year-old retired veteran, attempted to help the wounded  immediately after shots were fired and saved the lives of many injured people.  As well as Kelly Culbertson, a brave man who carried his girlfriend, who had been shot in the hurt, throughout the field in attempt to save his girlfriend.


In times of fear and confusion, it’s not easy to put yourself into that same situation through questions of  ‘What if…’  The question that left beloved senior student Christian Bailon pondering was, ‘What would you do in this situation?’  Christian responded with, “In the moment, I would feel shocked and wouldn’t know what to do.”  It’s not easy to say what you would do if you were put into the same situation, but for some people it wasn’t even a question – their first instinct was to take action.  Anonymous faculty member states, “I’d like to think that all of us would respond with heroic acts.”


“Should these heroes be awarded for their heroic actions?”  Student Christian Bailon responded with, “In terms of the 9/11, the heroes were awarded.  This is a terrorist attack, so the heroes should get awarded as well.. They were both terrorist attacks.


Christian, however, made an important statement, “Just like the 9/11 attacks, the victims were memorialized… and in this situation the victims deserve a memorial as well,”  Anonymous faculty member had this to say about the memorialization of the victims, “I hadn’t even thought about that… but it certainly took a long time for the soldiers of Vietnam to be memorialized, and I’m sure the same will account for this situation.”  Although there have been local memorials, there has not been discussion of a physical memorial in Las Vegas.  The only question remaining is ‘when will the memorial be established if there will be one?’


Anonymous student said, “Through dark times, it is crucial to never forget, but to move forward as a country together; to mourn, but to stand united and to recognize that not all heroes wear capes, some just love country music.”