All of you I am sure have heard by now of the tragedy which occurred Sunday night in Las Vegas during the Jason Aldean set.
I was there.
Lucky for me, I was making my way out after Aldean's fourth song. He was talking about how we were going to party; that he doesn't talk much but prefers to sing. Everybody cheered.
A few minutes before, I was in front of the stage listening to Aldean like everyone else with a beer in my hand having a great time.
Prior to Aldean's set, Big and Rich led the crowd in singing God Bless America. They also brought a few veterans to the stage so we could give them and all veterans past, present, and future their proper due.
Little did we know that just a short time later, a lunatic on the 32nd floor of the Mandelay Bay hotel was about to open fire on the crowd.
As I was walking out of the venue, I looked at my watch and noticed it was a few minutes past 10p. I was a little tired and was ready to go. My wife was not feeling well and left the set before. The young lady at the exit said "thank you for coming and I said, thank you."
I crossed the street on Las Vegas Blvd on my way to the MGM Grand. A few moments later I heard about 30 shots, a pause, then at least another 60 shots in succession. The gentleman next to me said, "those aren't fireworks, sounds like an AK."
We started walking faster until we heard the panic and running behind us. We ran just to keep from getting stampeded. Terror, hysterics, crying, you name the emotion and I heard it.
Within it seemed seconds, the police were speeding down the other direction towards the concert. I had never seen or felt anything like this before. People were hysterical running down the street and through our hotel lobby to get to the elevator. Once in the elevator, a few of us were trying to calm everyone down.
Obviously, some were separated from their friends and loved ones and were urgently on their cell phones trying to make contact. Once I got back to the hotel room we did the same.
Miraculously, the friends I was standing with at the beginning of Aldean's set moments earlier were not hit. They had knocked down a 10 foot fence, hid in an abandoned building until they were able to make it back to the hotel.
Let me just say, I don't know what to believe, but I lost my mother just about two months ago at 89 years old. As I was running down Las Vegas Blvd, I thought of her. Was it my time? Did she have anything to do with me leaving when I did? Not sure but my mother was a believer.
By now you know, at least 59 are dead with hundreds injured. Fortunately, our friends are safe. I didn't hear the ricosheting bullets or see the death many saw. I am thankful for that but what I did hear and see has changed me forever.
I can't help but think what may have happened if I stayed 10 minutes longer.
My thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives were changed forever.
For those who feel inclined, here is the
Go Fund Me link to help those victims with hospital and funeral expenses:
If I may also suggest the link to Jimmy Kimmel's monologue from Monday night to at least begin a conversation:
Friends of ours who witnessed this massacre are not sure they can ever go to a Rams' game again.
We need to do everything we can to keep this from happening again....and again.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Writing these thoughts was therapy for me.
Feel free to share.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
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