One year ago today was the worst day the city of Las Vegas has ever experienced. 58 lives were senselessly taken, thousands of memories were forever tarnished, and millions of lives were affected. It was, is, and always will be, in a word, horrendous.
However, that day taught the world a lot about the greatest city in it. That day showed what a tremendous community we have. That day showed how we rally for our own and for our visitors. That day broke down a lot of the barriers and stigmas about what Las Vegas really is and who actually lives here.
That day showed that we are Vegas Strong.
Today, the Golden Knights will make their way around the city participating in a number of community visits that will touch the lives of hundreds who were affected by 1 October. The Golden Knights are Las Vegas’ team. They are beloved in a way that every sports franchise in the world dreams of, but very few have. They have become heroes after their awe-inspiring first season and today they will use that status to hopefully bring joy to the real heroes of this city.
But today they will be seen much differently than they were this time last year. At that time, they had never played a game. Aside from Fleury, individual players were relatively unknown. They hadn’t yet connected with the city like they were about to a few days later and over the course of the next 12 months. They were not beloved sports icons. The words Wild Bill, Marchy, and Belly meant nothing to anyone. They were really just millionaire athletes who were dropped here, involuntarily in most cases, and were told to go help the city heal the worst tragedy it has ever seen.
Looking back, it was a ridiculous ask, and yet, somehow, they pulled it off, and they’ve been pulling it off ever since.