Our Town

 
It is not like me to send out e-mails like this but then this was not
like any other day.
 
You see though I have enjoyed living here and had no doubt that this was
a good move for us, it is still Vegas. A town built on sex, liquor,
drugs, and greed. A town that many say has no character or culture of
it's own.
 
Over the past two weeks we have seen a Security Officer shot during a
botched casino robbery. Luckily he survived, then a week later two
Metro Police Officers were shot at a domestic call with one dying--- the
first police line of duty death in 18 years. The subject was taken care
of Vegas style, shot by the PD 42 times. They knock the Texas death
penalty but then now I know why. They do not waste the time or our
money on a trial for Cop killers here. Needless to say the past few
weeks have been filled with extra training and evaluation of tactics on
the Strip. Then came today.
 
Today was the fallen officer's funeral. A day that this town of greed
showed its true colors. You see, as you may guess, the Strip only
closes for three hours on New Years Eve, and nothing else. At least
that was the rule. On this day the strip closed for over an hour while
a funeral procession with an estimated 2000 police vehicles from across
our region made their way down the Strip. The streets were lined like a
parade by locals, visitors, casino employees and security teams wishing
to pay their respects. The coveted marquis all displayed condolences
for the officer as all the music stopped and the Strip was silent. The
world famous fountains at the Ballagio stopped dancing and reduced their
flow to a calm and peaceful arch as the procession approached. As the
casket and limos holding the family passed, all of the high powered
water canons that usually create their magic allure began to shoot water
some 250 feet in the air, filling the entire ten acre lake that is their
home with a mist, while their booms echoed through the silent streets--
met only by the sounds of the bell towers at the Bellagio and the
Venetian. It was a sight and seen that was truly touching and emotional.
 
As the procession passed the airport it entered the freeway were the
bridges were lined with onlookers who were literally showering the cars
with flowers that they were tossing down on them. All of this started
at 9:30am this morning and the time here is now 5:00pm and the
ceremonies are just now ending. The whole thing was broadcast live and
uninterrupted on local TV.
 
It was amazing to see this town that lives and dies taking care of
outsiders say, for this one day, 'to hell with that, we take care of our
own' . The more amazing part is that those who were visiting simply
said ok. Love or hate how this town was built and what it may stand
for, this day truly showed me that this is one hell of a great town.

Merle