It was at a country music concert where a gunman opened fire on Oct. 1, 2017, and on the eve of the one year annivesary of that event, a country music concert is precisely what is bringing survivors together.
Inside the largest country music bar in Las Vegas, a benefit concert for children who lost their parents a year ago is sold out. All around the city, one cannot help but marvel at the many ways people have used to heal from the nightmare of Oct. 1, when 58 people died and about 800 others were injured.
For the group of survivors and community members gathered at this bar, closing the emotional wounds of the shooting at a country music festival involves celebrating survival at a country music concert.
Jeff "Toad" Higginbotham, a survivor, shares that he thought the sound of gunfire on that fateful day was fireworks. Higginbotham says he grabbed his girlfriend, and the couple hid in a freezer for 20 minutes before jumping a fence and running for their lives.
"The country is stronger," Higginbotham says on the eve of the one year anniversary. "Vegas is stronger. We're not 'Vegas strong' anymore. We are stronger, and that is the attitude we have towards it all."
"#VegasStronger" is the rallying cry for the city on the one year anniversary of its greatest tragedy. The hashtags will be featured on marquees all over the famous Las Vegas strip starting at 11:59 p.m. Sunday night.