Today, October 1, 2018, marks the solemn first year anniversary of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead and hundreds more injured while attending an outdoor country music concert. Civic leaders and local citizens alike are planning commemorative events in the city. Resort marquees along the Strip will go dark. Metropolitan Police Department officers, Clark County firefighters and officials from the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center are hosting a sunrise remembrance ceremony. Catholic Charities volunteers will be serving a meal to vulnerable men, women and children at its St. Vincent Lied dining facility, and a ceremony to dedicate the Las Vegas Healing Garden remembrance wall will be held this evening, among numerous other events. For multi-talented singer/songwriter Anita Faye, who calls Las Vegas home, the anniversary takes on a personal sense of gravitas.
"As we live through the one-year anniversary of the October 1st shooting, my heart goes out to the victims' families, the injured, and the survivors of that fateful day who are still struggling with their new normal," says Faye. In the aftermath of that fateful day, one year ago, Faye and her husband, Robby Thomas, wrote the song, "Angels in Heaven (Vegas Strong)," as a tribute to the resilient spirit of the people and city of Las Vegas, Nevada. "My sincere hope is that this song offers a fitting tribute to those impacted, including the city as a whole. The tragedy of senseless gun violence affects us all."
"We lived in Boston during the time of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, so we already had a sense of how life can change in the blink of an eye," Faye remembers. "We understand how those who are affected by such a senseless act of violence may never be the same. And while no amount of compensation will ever be sufficient for those directly impacted, we felt a deep sense of compassion and wanted to do what we could to honor the victims and encourage our community to persevere in love."
"As Christians, we are not just called to rejoice with those whom rejoice. We're also called upon to mourn with those who mourn," adds Thomas. "Our duty and mandate is to express the love of God in caring for one another, especially in moments of crisis. God laid this song on our hearts to express compassion for this city in the aftermath of the Route 91 shooting. It is our prayer that this song in some way ministers a message of love and resilience to those still healing from physical, spiritual and psychological wounds.
"Angels in Heaven (Vegas Strong)" is featured on Anita Faye's new 13 song CD, Kingdom Journey, which released to retail on Friday, September 7, 2018, from NiNiTunes, and is available from major online retailers including iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and Google Play. For more information on Anita Faye and Kingdom Journey, visit anitafaye.com.