The anniversary Billy Bob Mason and Regina Harris want to remember is the one that marks their wedding.
A year ago, the couple ran for their lives at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
But they vowed to take back the date of Oct. 1, the day on which 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on concertgoers from a broken-out window of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
The couple were near one of the stages when bullets started to hit the ground. Mason stopped to help people who were injured. A bullet tore off the skin on his left toe.
He wore the boots with the bullet hole as he married Regina, his girlfriend of three years.
Mason and Harris were married at a healing garden, a memorial set up off the Strip in downtown Las Vegas. In the garden, a tree was planted for each of the 58 victims. Each tree is marked and decorated with personal items and tributes.
“We wanted the 58 to be with us,” Harris said of the memorials. Many of the victims’ families watched the wedding Monday afternoon.
The couple live in Bodfish, Calif., a small town about 30 miles from Bakersfield. They said 17 family members made the trip from central California for the wedding.
“We invited 22,000 to crash our wedding,” Mason said of the estimated number of festival-goers at the country music festival last year. “We wanted to take back this day.”
SOURCE: Reno Gazette Journal – Siobhan McAndrew