LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A clear majority of respondents to a survey – 65.5% -- indicated that it is “extremely” or “very important” that a memorial for the events of 1 October 2017 should be built at the Route 91 Harvest Festival site on the Las Vegas Strip.
Some 43.3% said it is “extremely important” and 22.2% described it as “very important.” Notably, more than half of all groups in the survey expressed this preference, with survivors feeling most strongly that the memorial be located at the event site.
Fewer than 1 in 5 respondents (17.6%) felt it is extremely or very important that the memorial not be located at the event site (11.7% and 5.9%, respectively). Among those who responded this way, more than one in four reported to have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (27.6%) or to have lost a member of his or her extended family or a close friend (28.1%).
The question is one of 15 asked of the public March 1-14 and unveiled today by the 1 October Memorial Committee, a seven-member panel appointed by the Clark County Commission to gather input from the public and develop recommendations for a permanent memorial in the Las Vegas Valley. The goal is to create a lasting memorial that remembers the victims, honors the survivors and first responders, and celebrates the resiliency of our community. 6,066 people took part in the survey.
In response to a query about the “importance of possible features/additional considerations”:
• Nearly three in four (73.1%) respondents rated education about the event as extremely or very important.
• Seven in 10 (70.6%) felt it is extremely or very important that the memorial appeal to all ages.
• More than six in 10 (62.5%) said addressing the issue of mass casualty violence is extremely or very important.
• Six in 10 respondents (60.1%) deemed an artistic feature extremely or very important.
• An ability to leave mementos to commemorate victims and survivors was extremely or very important to 57% of respondents. Families and friends of victims and survivors felt most strongly. However, all groups of survey respondents shared the priority.
• An interactive component was extremely or very important to a quarter (25%) of respondents.
The survey provided an opportunity for respondents to suggest additional memorial features. Common themes among the important “other” ideas included honoring the victims, survivors, and first and community responders; opportunities for music to be incorporated, which include multiple mentions of performance space; opportunities for quiet reflection; avoiding politics and mentions of the perpetrator; and not having a new memorial.
When asked to provide a single word describing the most important aspect for the memorial, respondents offered 784 terms or phrases. The words most frequently suggested were remembrance, respect, honor, healing, unity, peace, community and love.
“We are hopeful that we have a firm basis for this important project with the number of responses received,” said Committee Chairwoman Tennille Pereira. “We are grateful for all those that participated and look forward to on-going community engagement.”
The multifaceted outreach effort appeared successful. More than 64% discovered the survey through newsletters, intranet sites, email blasts, Facebook or from their employer or workplace. The committee also achieved its goal to ensure broad and diverse participation. Geographically, 81% of respondents were from Nevada, 18% were based elsewhere in the nation, and 1% were from outside the United States.
Respondents were also diverse in the ways they were affected by 1 October. Nearly half of respondents (47.7%) identified as a community member. 1 in 5 (20.1 percent) identified as survivors, nearly 1 in 10 (9.3%) were first responders or community responders, 6.3% lost a family member or friend, and 7.4% were family or friends of survivors. Nearly 1 in 10 (8.3%) indicated having been in the immediate vicinity at the time of the shooting. Among community members and otherwise affected respondents, there were many comments that referenced survivors’ guilt either directly or indirectly, using terms such as “I should/could have been there” or “I had tickets but didn’t go.”
“The response was great and it looks like we reached all kinds of people who were impacted,” said Bridget Kelly, manager of UNLV’s Cannon Survey Center, which administered the survey. “Between the impressive response and the depth of information people offered in comments, it’s clear that the community cares a great deal about what happens with this project.”
Officials emphasized that the survey is a first step in an ongoing community-wide conversation about the best way to memorialize what occurred. They said there would be additional opportunities for public input, which will include town hall meetings and likely additional surveys.
To follow the progress of this project, please visit www.ClarkCountyNV.gov/1OctoberMemorial and subscribe to email updates from the 1 October Memorial Committee. Additionally, you can follow the committee at www.Facebook.com/1OctoberMemorial. Look for postings on social media using the hashtag #1OctoberMemorial and follow the committee’s work as it determines how best to create a 1 October “Memorial to Remember.” Committee meetings are held at 9 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month and are aired live on Clark County Television, streamed on the committee’s Facebook page and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/ClarkCountyNV/live.