The Clark County Commission bestowed its approval for a lasting memorial to honor the victims of the 2017 Las Vegas massacre on a recent Tuesday. Chosen to stand on two acres of the previously unutilized Las Vegas Village, former site of the ill-fated Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, the memorial will be a noble testament to the lives wrought by what goes on record as the deadliest mass shooting in contemporary U.S. history.
The architectural marvel, christened “Forever One,” being conceived by JCJ Architecture, will take form through a wall bearing the names of the victims. This wall will undulate around 58 beams or ‘candles’ as they’ve been termed, each symbolizing a victim. Incorporated into the spectacle will be a towering beacon of light at the center, with a tranquil corner reserved for intimate musical settings.
JCJ Architecture articulates that “Forever One” is envisioned as a sanctuary for quiet reflection, remembrance, and grief. A soothing haven for community healing, the memorial will stand as a tangible reminder of the imperatives of commending peace, fostering unity, and the urgent necessity to prevent acts of violence.
Translating their vision into reality, JCJ, housing offices in seven U.S. states, including Las Vegas, consulted with various societal segments such as the kin of victims, survivors, and emergency response personnel. These interactive sessions were integral in shaping the design of the memorial.
The final design was selected from among five concepts submitted to a memorial committee. The committee consulted extensively with concerned parties, including survivors, victim’s family members, and members of the public before their momentous decision.
Clark County Commission Chairman Jim Gibson, who oversees the festival’s district, expressed gratitude towards the design teams, survivors, families, and every individual who contributed towards the creation of a memorial that would afford a sense of solace and closure to those affected by the harrowing events of October 1st.
The shooting incident resulted tragically in the immediate or consequent death of 58 individuals due to gunshot wounds. Two additional persons succumbed to their injuries in the successive months. While these victims might not be embodied in the memorial’s direct expression, they too will be honored, as assured by committee chair Tennille Periera.
The memorial is slated to be erected at the intersection of Reno Avenue and Giles Street, in proximity to the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer. The latter, a Roman Catholic church, had served as a safe harbor for victims in the aftermath of the massacre.
In a significant acquisition in the year 2022, North Dakota’s Three Affiliated Tribes bought 13 of the original 15 acres of the Las Vegas Village festival grounds from MGM Resorts International for a hefty $90M. The grounds had remained deserted since the calamitous event. MGM generously donated the remaining two acres for the memorial.
The ensuing task for the Clark County Commission staffers is the identification of a reputable nonprofit organization. The chosen entity will be entrusted with the financial management, construction, and ongoing maintenance of the memorial. Approval for the entrusted organization will be sought at a subsequent commission meeting.