LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — After the 1 October mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017, memorials popped up across the valley. They were visible displays of sorrow, left behind by a grieving community.
But the thousands of items left at those memorials couldn’t stay in place forever and needed a permanent home — a place where they could be safely kept.
After the massacre, Clark County Museum staff ended up with what was left behind at memorials. It amounted to more than 20,000 artifacts.
“Some of them just, we ran out of room. So, this is where they live,” said Cynthia Sanford, Clark County Museum.
At the Clark County Museum, 1 October is tucked into an endless series of boxes.
“We ended up with some office space that wasn’t in use and we needed to turn them into storage,” said Mark Hall-Patton, Clark County Museum.
All of the artifacts are in storage but there isn’t enough room so climate-controlled offices hold the rest.
“By holding onto the objects, we’re taking the history of how the community reacted,” Sanford said.
This time of year, parts of the archive are dusted off again for display at the Clark County Government Center rotunda.
“The photos of victims or friends and family. those are the hardest to look at. That really hits home that it was a person, she said.”
Museum staff are working on a new, larger storage facility. It’s 1 October archive gets moved in first.
Until then, perhaps there’s comfort knowing when Las Vegas poured its heart out it didn’t just go away.
“Yes, it reminds you of the bad time. But it also reminds you that there are people here who have your back,” Sanford said.
Parts of the museum’s archive is now on display at the Clark County Government Center. The county’s plans for a future memorial will is expected to involve more of the collection.