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Finding comfort and healing: Local artist creates Vegas Strong sculpture

Posted at 11:26 PM, Nov 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-19 02:26:55-05

Finding comfort and healing: a local artist creates a Vegas Strong sculpture to honor the victims of the mass shooting on the strip.

More than 50 people lost their lives at the Route 91 Harvest Festival venue, hundreds of others were injured. 

Local artist, Jay Rockow tells 13 Action News, some of his friends were at that concert that night. They were injured and that inspired him to create a sculpture to honor the victims.

For weeks he worked on this project.

"It was late nights, and super early mornings."

It seemed like endless hours of work... Throughout Rockow had the 1 October shooting victims in mind.

"It was tough because I was supposed to be there," says Rockow. "I would've been in a position behind a close friend of mine."

Rockow started creating the Vegas Strong sculpture two weeks after the mass shooting. 

The sculpture has a fence where people can put locks in.

"I want people to be able to come to this object and say you know what - this is for my family member that I lost. This is for my close friend."

He says the project wouldn't have been made possible if not for the help of local businesses owners. 

Ram Proline did the powder coating.

Ramsey and Son cut the design out of steel.

Kevin Ramsey of Ramsey and Son says, "Vegas strong you know. You can't knock us down. You know that's pretty much I think what it says."

The 1 October tragedy also hit close to home for Ramsey.

"We have probably about 20 - 30 common friends that were there during the incident you know."

Right now, the Vegas Strong memorial remains at Jay Rockow's storage unit.

He's still looking at places where he can put this sculpture.

"I want them to be able to walk away and say you know what, a piece of them and a piece of me will always be there."

Gate 1 of the Route 91 Harvest Festival venue is one of the areas Rockow is looking to put the sculpture permanently.  He wants it to be in a place where people can have access to it any time, any day, so they can pay their respects.