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1 October survivors gather for Thanksgiving dinner

Posted at 10:10 PM, Nov 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-26 13:29:35-05

This week, Thanksgiving went by for 58 families without a loved one sitting at the table. 

For survivors of the 1 October tragedy, the holiday gave them an opportunity to gather with family and friends for support.

Saturday at Henderson Convention Center, dozens of Route 91 survivors and their families gathered for a very special Thanksgiving. It's the first major holiday since the mass shooting. Survivors have a message for everyone:

"Don't forget us. Right now a lot of survivors feel forgotten."

That's how Stacie Armentrout felt as she worked to make this Thanksgiving dinner possible for her fellow Route 91 survivors.

"When I started making phone calls about this, some people their answer is 'what are you talking about? What shooting? I had to remind them."

They had their share of turkey, stuffing, and greens. But the grief is still too raw to go through the holiday.

Shawna Bartlett tells 13 Action News, "There's still people not back at work. There's families that are being adopted by us as survivors. We're adopting our own survivor family." 

Erik Frazier, who helped take victims to the hospital that night says, "I didn't really want to come. I've been kinda wanting not to be around a whole lot of people. I can't really do the same thing I used to do."

But at least, survivors say they have one another.

Each person in the room has someone to call when they need someone to listen, someone who understands.

"That night we became a family, and this is what families do. We come together for the holidays and for each other," says Armentrout.

Thousands are left to live with the horror of one of the worst mass shootings in America.

Survivors say you can help them heal. 

"Ask what can we do? Well, this person has a child, and they don't have money for Christmas this year. Can you donate some clothes or can you donate some gifts?" says Bartlett.

Survivors are also asking you, if you know anyone who was at the concert that night, be more understanding and be more patient with them because they are facing a long road to recovery.