Less than a week after the shooting incident in Las Vegas, we arrived at McCarren airport for a weekend getaway. The mood on the plane was somber and subdued. We all feel sympathy and respect for the wounded, the deceased, and their family members. But vacations are are few and expensive and need to be enjoyed. The employees on the strip need to get back to normal and they need our business.
We felt apprehensive and a little guilty about coming here to have fun after the recent shooting incident. We had planned our trip months ago and could not cancel it without losing our money. We needed some time off away from home. We are determined to enjoy this vacation.
We passed the site of the shooting on the way to our hotel. It was completely preserved, marked off, and guarded. There was a memorial with a gathering of mourners, piles of flowers and memorabilia lying next to it. You can still see the blood stains from the carnage. The broken windows of Mandalay Bay had just been replaced that day. It was shocking that the shooter was able to shoot all those poor people from the Mandalay Bay window. The resort didn’t seem close enough for him to hit them.
We checked into our hotel and tried to compartmentalize our feelings and to be sensitive to the feelings of the people who are serving us on this trip. Our hotel is amazing. Planet Hollywood is enormous. Our room was spacious and looks down upon the pool area. We can see the Paris, the Bellagio Fountains, the Mirage. We unpacked and went down to Ringers Sports Bar for dinner and to watch the Chicago Cubs first playoff game. Our waitress told us that she had some friends who were injured in the tragedy, but they were going to be ok. Most people want to talk about the shootings. It is still fresh in their minds. They are trying to heal. They are trying to move on.
We walked over to the MGM Grand and to New York New York to gamble a little and have some drinks. We needed some relaxation. It did seem like there were less people on the strip and in the casinos but the party like atmosphere was present. We saw crowds of people, bachelor parties, conventioners, families. Gambling was good at New York New York.
We took a taxi back to our hotel. Our cabdriver was a sweet little woman who told us about how she helped with getting wounded people to the hospital after the shooting. She said she took trip after trip to the hospital carrying bloody, wounded people because the ambulances just could not keep up with amount of people needing care. She was in tears as she told us how the taxi drivers worked with the police to try to help the injured people. We hugged her when we got out of the car and told her what a good job she had done helping those people. Clearly there is some emotional healing to be done here.
Many of the resorts have jumbotrons proclaiming “VegasStrong and offering phone numbers for the families of the victims. Security and policemen are everywhere. We feel safe and will quietly enjoy our few days here.
Pray for Vegas. These poor people have experienced a terrible tragedy and are in need of healing prayers.