Today, Congressman Ruben J. Kihuen spoke on the floor of the U.S House of Representatives to honor victims, first- responders and doctors affected by the Las Vegas shooting on October 1st, 2017. Below are excerpts of his remarks as prepared:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about the tragedy that happened in my hometown of Las Vegas last Sunday. Last week, a horrific mass shooting took place in the community where I grew up. Immediately when I heard the news on Sunday night, like so many people I felt helpless, and rushed to the hospital to see how I could help. This shooting was the deadliest in modern U.S. history. 58 people have died and over 500 were injured. The 58 victims came from all walks of life. They came to Las Vegas from all over the United States. Some were there to celebrate their birthdays, their favorite country singer, a night out with friends and family, or and even celebrating their wedding anniversaries.

Even though these families will never get another Christmas, another Thanksgiving, or another birthday with their loved one, they will never forget them, and we won’t either. As we grieve for those who were killed or injured and pray for their families, I want to recognize the heroes who bravely and selflessly rushed to help.

Law enforcement officers and first responders, including some who were off duty and attending the concert,  ran toward the gunfire to protect the concertgoers and provide desperately needed care for victims. People at the concert shielded those around them, gave them medical care, and led others to safety – exposing themselves to the hail of bullets while they tried to save others. People driving by used their cars to help take shooting victims to hospitals. The health care professionals – doctors, nurses, support staff, and volunteers have been working around the clock to care for the more than 500 injured people. Hospitality industry employees rushed to help however they could. And Las Vegas businesses and residents have generously donated their money, time, and blood to help the victims.

Over the coming days, and weeks, I plan to speak on this floor about each individual victim – to honor their life and tell their story. I will also be speaking out about what Congress needs to do to prevent another tragedy like this from happening. We should never forget the victims of October 1, 2017. But as we embark on the long process of healing, I’m forever grateful for the incredible heart and spirit shown by the Las Vegas community. I’ve never been prouder of the Las Vegas community, and to be a Nevadan.”

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