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‘How We Mourned’ memorializes Las Vegas mass shooting

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The teddy bears belonged in a child’s bedroom, the votive candles in a local church. Instead, they were among the thousands of items left by the grieving near the site of the largest mass shooting in modern American history.

They are now part of “How We Mourned,” a somber exhibit at the Clark County Museum that helps mark the first anniversary of the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting spree that killed 58 people and wounded over 800 at an outdoor festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

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Stephen Paddock, 64, a retired real estate investor, poured gunfire from his 32nd-floor hotel suite into a crowd of 20,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest festival last Oct. 1, then killed himself before police stormed his room.

In August, authorities closed their investigation without an explanation for what motivated Paddock.

After the carnage, scores of Las Vegas residents and visitors placed an eclectic array of offerings in various areas of the gambling mecca, including the traffic island that’s home to the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

Museum Administrator Mark Hall-Patton said only a relatively small portion of the more than 15,000 items collected – approximately 3,000 – were displayed in the exhibit. 

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With 25 volunteers spending 7,000 hours sorting, photographing and cataloguing what Hall-Patton called trailerloads of items, the artifacts will eventually be placed in storage and made available for study.

“Anything that could be saved, we saved,” Hall-Patton said. “We’re not done yet.”  The exhibit is on display until Feb. 28.

The items include everything from stuffed animals, painted rocks and artificial flower bouquets to T-shirts, cowboy hats, whiskey bottles and rosaries.

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Schools from as far away as Canada sent letters expressing sympathy. A group from Hawaii brought a peace lei hundreds of yards long, with 58 white crosses. Contributions have come in from around the world.

“This is an international exhibit,” Hall-Patton said, noting tourists “flew into town from overseas” just to present their offerings and pay their respects.”

Many of the items, including a large hand-painted “Vegas Strong” banner signed by hundreds of well-wishers, were created without a thought given to preservation for future generations.

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“One of the challenges we have is, how are we going to preserve that?” he said. “They were looked at as a short-term statement of care.”

Sorting through the vast assortment of items from such an emotional time in the community’s history was at times difficult, he said.

“It affects everybody,” Hall-Patton said. “You walk away sometimes. But this is what we do.” 

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Editing by Bill Tarrant and Cynthia Osterman


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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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