HONOLULU (KHON2) — Thursday, Oct. 1, marks three years since the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
People in Las Vegas on Thursday night stopped to remember the horrible night that left 60 people dead and more than 800 others injured at an outdoor country music festival in 2017.
Among those who gathered in Las Vegas was Hawaii native Ashley Quiocho, who suffered a gunshot wound to her backside. Quiocho was born and raised in Hawaii but still calls Las Vegas home.
It was a night never to be forgotten.
The sound of music was shattered by gunfire and a long shooter fired relentlessly from the upper-floor windows of his room in the Mandalay Bay Resort.
It’s been three years but the memories are still all too fresh for Quiocho.
“I think you just move on. And I don’t know that you try to forget or maybe sometimes I’m in denial,” said Quiocho. “But today comes and a bunch of messages happen and Instagram posts come up and it’s a reminder it’s super emotional.”
Along with many others on Thursday, Quiocho gathered with friends to remember those who died.
“It’s really sad. Everybody else knows it’s really sad, when you think about nobody else still dealing with the trauma and everybody suffers differently,” Quiocho said. “Maybe they faced it, maybe they haven’t.”
Since the horrible tragedy, Ashley has vowed to live her best life, traveling the world with friends and fellow survivors of the shooting, and finding her happiness.
“We have the ability to do it. We’ve been to Patagonia and Iceland and then backpacked everywhere and it’s so awesome. I’m definitely taking advantage of that,” said Quiocho. “The situation really made me think and see some things that I never got to see and realize more than ever that life really is so short.”
This year, she commemorates the day without something she carried with her for more than two years.
While the memories of that day remain fresh, Quiocho said that looking back is important, but so is moving forward.
“I’m lucky that I’ve been able to face it, overcome things. But today is so important because it’s another realization that life is good, life is short, take advantage of what you have, that’s awesome, ” Quiocho said. “I just count my blessings for everything that I have and everything I have and that I’ve accomplished, I don’t take any of it for granted.”
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