Matt Ballaro: 'One October' Vegas mass shooting survivor's song aims to lift hearts at memorial ceremony
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: A survivor of the October 1 mass shooting, which left 60 people dead in 2017, has created a commerative song on the 5th anniversary of the tragedy. Composed by Matt Ballaro, the song titled ‘Vegas Strong’ has been submitted to the One October Memorial Committee before the Route 91 festival. Ballaro said he wanted his song to bring hope to the people during the memorial ceremony to commemorate the victims of the tragedy.
Ballaro also remembered the fatal day when 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock targeted people attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival. He shared: “If I remember correctly, the song kind of came after everything had happened. It was something that sent everybody including myself into shock.”
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Speaking about his work, the lyrics of which goes like this: “I guess we’ll live to see another day/ Even though the pain will never fade away/ This isn’t something we can just erase/ We need each other through the battle as we make a change,” Ballaro added, “I wanted it to be hopeful; make them see the beauty that came out of such a tragic event.
“Anytime I go back and listen to it, it brings me right back to some of the more hopeful moments that we experienced: people are lining up at blood banks. The Golden Knights won their first game at home, and they raise the banner with the number 58 on it. Anytime I put the song back on, and I listen to it myself, it just brings me back,” Ballaro said.
Meanwhile, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) on September 28 said: “Five years ago, my home town of Las Vegas endured one of the darkest days in its history. On a beautiful autumn evening, the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival was interrupted when a gunman showered the concert with bullets from a high-rise hotel room. Those who were at the festival—including my niece—at first thought the gunshots were fireworks, but soon realized that something much more deadly was unfolding.”
Masto continued, “It’s hard to overstate the scale of the devastation of that night, and it remains the worst mass shooting in modern American history. As soon as the gunfire broke out, first responders sprang into action, as did ordinary citizens, turning concert barriers into stretchers and trucks and cars into makeshift ambulances. At the worst of times, Nevadans came together to support one another. And they have worked to help each other since.”
“And this weekend in Las Vegas, thanks to the work of the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center, bereaved families, survivors, first responders, and community members will light lanterns together to honor the strength, light, and resilience of the Las Vegas community. The fact is, though, that trauma leaves its marks. Many of those touched by the Route 91 attack say that the shooting created a permanent ‘before’ and ‘after’ for them. It fundamentally changed their lives,” the senator added.
Five years ago after the tragedy struck, Route 91 Harvest Festival had released a statement that read: “On behalf of the entire Route 91 Harvest Family, we are completely devastated by the event that occurred last night. Our deepest sympathies go out to the injured and the deceased and their loved ones. Senseless violence has claimed the souls of our fans and we have little in the way of answers. Our eternal gratitude goes out to the LVMPD, Emergency services, security guards, and fans for their selfless acts of bravery while trying to help those in need. While we will try and move forward, we will never forget this day.”