Remarks by the Vice President at the Las Vegas Unity Prayer Walk
Las Vegas City Hall
Las Vegas, Nevada
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Senator Heller, Senator Cortez-Masto, Congresswoman Titus, other distinguished members of Congress, Mayor Goodman, state and local officials, Pastor Hatch, people of Las Vegas, my fellow Americans, my wife, Karen, and I are honored to join you for this Las Vegas Unity Prayer Walk.
We are grateful to each of you. And we're grateful to the inspiration of your former deputy fire chief, Kevin Chapman. Kevin, thank you for loving the people of this community the way you do. (Applause.)
President Trump personally asked us to be here to stand with you, to pray with you for strength, comfort, and healing in the wake of Sunday night's horrific attack here in Las Vegas.
In America, we mourn with those who mourn. We grieve with those who grieve, and I stand before you today on behalf of my family, and every family in America, to say we are with you. Today we are all Vegas Strong. (Applause.)
As the President often says, when one part of America hurts, we all hurt. When one part of America struggles, we all struggle. And when one part of America cries out for help, we always come together to answer the call.
Five days ago, America awoke to news of the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States. On a field, not far from here, 58 people lost their lives, and nearly 500 were injured.
It was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. As the President said in his address to the nation, we're joined together in sadness, shock, and grief for the fallen, the injured, and their families.
Those we lost were taken before their time, but their names and their stories will be forever etched into the hearts of the American people.
Among them: A special-ed teacher who helped the neediest, named Sandra Casey; a policeman and a veteran, Charleston Hartfield, who coached a youth football team; a full-time mom, named Hannah Ahlers, who was the sunshine of her family; and Jack Beaton, a construction worker who died shielding his wife from harm.
To the families of these, and all our fallen, near and far, we extend the deepest condolences of the First Family, of our family, and of the American people.
The Bible tells us that “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted,” and this will be our prayer for all of you.
We do mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve, but we do not grieve like those who have no hope -- because heroes give us hope. (Applause.)
As President Trump said here on Wednesday, “in the depths of horror, we will always find hope in the men and women who risk their lives for ours.”
We find hope in the heroic actions of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the fire department, and all the first responders on that night who, without regard to their personal safety, rushed into harm’s way. Their actions were in the highest tradition of law enforcement, and their actions undoubtedly saved lives that night. (Applause.)
We find hope in the medical professionals in this community -- the doctors, the surgeons, the nurses, the EMTs across Las Vegas whose swift professionalism, compassion, and expert care prevented an even wider tragedy. (Applause.)
And we find hope in the everyday Americans whose heroic actions, in the face of unspeakable evil inspired the nation. Among the heroes, known and unknown, a mom who shielded her 4-year-old daughter with her own body; a father who helped guide others to safety, even though he had been shot not once, but twice; an off-duty firefighter who told his wife she had to run, but he had to stay, to help those in need; and an Army veteran who rushed to the scene, to find his girlfriend and her mom and ended up carrying the wounded off the field.
These were everyday Americans. But every day, from this day forward, we will remember their selflessness and courage whenever we remember that dark hour. (Applause.)
On Sunday night, Las Vegas came face to face with pure evil. But no evil, no act of violence will ever diminish the strength and goodness of the American people.
As President Trump said on Monday morning, “Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence." He said, it's our love that defines us today and it always will.
And as I read in my devotions this morning, love binds all our virtues together in unity.
And so, in the wake of this tragedy, we put on love. We find comfort in the knowledge that we are united as one nation, as one people, with one voice -- united in our grief, united in our support for those who have suffered, and united in our resolve to end such evil in our time. (Applause.)
So today, we offer our prayers from our hearts to the heart of heaven. We pray for those we lost, and for those they left behind. We pray for the injured and the men and women who care for them at this very hour. We pray for the people of Las Vegas.
And we pray for our nation -- that the words sung by thousands, before the shots rang out that fateful night, might be ever more true -- that God would bless America. (Applause.) That he would renew our unity and strengthen our faith -- our faith that as He's ever watched over this great land, the He in this moment will again “bind up our wounds.” He will “heal the broken-hearted,” and He will “wipe every tear from our eyes.”
So may God bless you. May God bless the men and women of law enforcement and all our first responders. May God bless the fallen, the injured, and their precious families. And May God bless America. (Applause.)