As a Las Vegan, there’s only one appropriate American way to respond to the horrific Las Vegas shooting tragedy: Defiantly.
Last night, I had a dream. Consider this choreographed event if you will…
Nevada Day is coming up on October 31st. We should celebrate it with a big “Concert for Las Vegas” at the exact same outdoor venue on the Strip where the Route 91 Harvest concert was being held before Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort across the street.
We will mourn those whose lives were prematurely snuffed out senselessly, as well as honor the multitude of heroes who responded to the carnage.
Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman – the only politician, current or past, allowed anywhere near the stage – would open up the event at 4:00 pm with a martini toast, of course.
He’ll then introduce a group of local kids who will recite the Lord’s Prayer while everyone in the audience takes a knee. Why the “Our Father”? Because of the last four words: “Deliver us from evil.”
At the end, former Nevada college football player Colin Kaepernick would walk up the microphone and say, “Please rise, remove your hats, place your hand over your heart and join me in honoring America, our military service members and our law enforcement officers as we play the National Anthem.”
Hey, I said it was a dream, didn’t I?
At that point Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, walks on stage and sings the Star Spangled Banner.
As he gets near the end, the Las Vegas-based Thunderbirds flight demonstration team out of Nellis Air Force Base does a Strip flyover, ending above the concert crowd with their signature “Missing Man Formation.”
Then a non-stop jam session featuring celebrity musicians from every musical genre under the sun. Even rap.
We’ll wind things down at 10 pm, when Sheriff Joe Lombardo will take the stage, be recognized and honored on behalf of all Metro police officers, and lead the crowd in a moment of silence starting at exactly 10:08 pm – the moment the shooter began his deadly assault.
At 10:09 pm a solo Scottish bagpipe performer will play “Amazing Grace.” When finished, members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will lead the crowd in singing “God Bless America.”
At that point, Las Vegans Penn & Teller take the stage. Penn directs everyone in the crowd to turn and face Mandalay Bay, look up to the 32nd floor, extend their middle finger, and on the count of three shout in unison, “#$%& you, Stephen Paddock!”
The nice Mormon folks, of course, will be warned to plug their ears first.
At that point an orchestra will begin playing a rousing rendition of John Phillip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” as a fireworks display, the likes of which has never been seen before, is launched from the rooftop of the Mandalay Bay.
What a way to honor those fellow Americans we senselessly lost at the hands of an evil Merchant of Death…even if only for a few minutes in our imagination.