Will he come home?
Growing up with a parent as a police officer, there is always fear that you may not see them again when they get called out to breaking news. Watching my dad leave the house time and time again, I’m unbelievably grateful for all the times he has made it back safe and well. While you always know in the back of your mind a terrible tragedy could happen, you pray you never have to experience it. Despite having those precautions about my dad, it wasn’t always the same for my mom and sister. We tend to forget that even if someone isn’t putting their life in danger to protect others, there is always a chance that tragedy could strike. In Las Vegas, tragedy hit just after 10 p.m. on Sunday, October 1.
It was 5:10 a.m. on Monday, October 2 when my phone rang. My sister was calling and my first thought was “I hope everything is okay.” It’s out of the ordinary for her to call me so early in the morning, and when I answered I wasn’t expecting to hear what she said.
I could hear the fear in my sister’s voice as she said “I don’t want you to wake up and panic after seeing the news, but there was a shooting at the concert but I’m okay.” Still not fully understanding what was going on, we exchanged a few words before hanging up. An hour later I called back and she recounted her experience.
As soon as my sister made it home safe, my dad left and didn’t return until 7 on Monday morning. Tired and confused as to how something like this happens, I spoke to my dad, hearing him the most upset I’ve heard him sound after coming home from the scene of a tragic incident. “This is an act of hate. I just don’t understand how someone can do this,” he said.
I praise God that my dad, sister and her friends made it home safe, but that’s not the case for the at least 59 people killed and 527 others who were injured. My heart breaks for those who lost loved ones, those who were injured and those who were caught in the middle of the chaos. You never think something as horrific and sickening as a mass shooting will happen in your home city, but that’s exactly what has happened. As a proud Nevadan, I’m thankful for the survivors who risked their lives to save others, the first responders who have worked tirelessly since Sunday night and for this country for coming together in time of need. Whether it’s donating supplies, your time, or going to the nearest United Blood Services location, I urge you to continue to come together as a nation and stay strong.