Our View: 1 year later, answers are few, but healing is evident

October 1, 2018

A year ago today, terrorism came home. Nobody knows why Stephen Paddock fired from his Mandalay Bay hotel room into a crowd of Las Vegas concert-goers on that fateful night in 2017. A lot of theories have been floated, some more ridiculous than others, but authorities have acknowledged we’ll probably never know what drove an evil man to kill and injure so many innocent people in the worst mass shooting in American history.

Lake Havasu City didn’t escape the tragedy. At least two Havasu residents were among those injured in the shooting, and many residents were attending the concert that night.

Thankfully, Kurt Fowler, the Desert Hills firefighter whose leg was shattered by one of Paddock’s bullets, and Tawny Wamack, the Northern Arizona University student and Lake Havasu High alum who was shot in the chest, have both recovered from their injuries. But they’ll both have scars, both physical and emotional, for years to come. And so will their families. That’s true for everyone who attended the concert, whether they were injured or not. It’s safe to say traumatic events like mass shootings have ripple effects that reach far and wide, way beyond the place where they occurred.

That night of terror on Oct. 1, 2017, affected many lives – on that front, the shooter got what he wanted. But he probably couldn’t have expected how his actions would bring communities together. In Havasu, survivors began meeting frequently and found fast friendship in their shared experience, even gathering this summer at the Nautical Beachfront Resort for much-needed relaxation and reflection. A year, however, isn’t enough to fully recover. Healing after an event like that is a lifelong process.

Communities, like people must grieve. It starts with disbelief and outrage and prolonged sadness, but eventually the conversation turns to broader questions such as how to move on with our lives, and how such tragedies can be prevented in the future. That’s when it’s clear the healing has begun.

Lacking any real answers, the only thing left to do is recover and come to terms with the tragic events that rocked our world one year ago. Thankfully, in the last year, we’ve seen Las Vegas and the wider region do a pretty good job of it.

— Today’s News-Herald

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