My photo essay on the original memorial at the Las Vegas sign.
October 1, 2019 – I originally posted this blog on Medium nearly 2 years ago. Not long after the tragedy on October 1, 2017 an impromptu memorial began to build around the Welcome To Las Vegas sign. I was so moved by the memorial that I felt I needed to help memorialize it and pay tribute to the victims, first responders and visitors who paid tribute in their own way at the memorial. Below is what was originally posted and a link at the bottom of the post to all 58 photos I originally shared of the memorial
The most photographed place in our valley and one of the most photographed places in the world is located only about a mile south of Mandalay Bay. That place, of course, is the Welcome To Las Vegas sign.
If you visited the sign any time before October 1st, 2017 you would have witnessed an endless stream of excitement and joy pouring out of the visitors.
Shortly after the tragic events of October 1, 2017 the wonderful Crosses for Losses delivered 58 white wooden crosses to help memorialize the victims. The crosses became the seed for what grew into an amazing communal tribute.
Once I realized the memorial was only going to be on display in this location for a few weeks I knew I needed to capture it with my camera. What I witnessed on each trip to the memorial moved me every time. Messages of love and the words Vegas Strong were written on any possible surface.
Candles were lit constantly…
American flags blanketed the crosses and surrounding areas.
The amount of small crosses, painted rocks, notes, etc. were endless. I took over a thousand photos and still didn’t capture everything there.
I was amazed at the items left by the visitors for this memorial but what touched me the most was the emotional connection visitors had to this memorial and the victims.
In the early days after the tragedy you didn’t see many smiles on the faces of the visitors. As the weeks went on you would see joy return to the faces of the visitors getting out of their taxi, Uber or bus to visit the sign. As they walked closer to the sign the memorial came into view and emotions began to mix. The 58 crosses in the shadow of the famous sign reminded us all of an event and a group of people that we will never forget.
The memorial has been removed. The sign is back to normal, whatever that means now. Normal in Las Vegas will never be the same as it was before 10.01.17.
I wanted to capture these images to remember the victims and survivors. I also wanted to remember the outpouring of love from the Las Vegas community and from our global family that visits our city every day.
To see the rest of the 58 images I captured visit the photo gallery in the link below.
Route 91 Memorial
For a few weeks after the October 1st Route 91 tragedy a memorial organically formed at the Las Vegas sign. The 58…bergonzoni.myportfolio.com
For permission to use any of these photos contact me here firstname.lastname@example.org