Airmen at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada were going to repaint an F-15A Eagle to celebrate the Air Force’s 70th birthday this year, but they instead decided to honor those affected by last month’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.
The fighter jet features the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign on the left-side tail with a skyline of the city, but it says “We Are Vegas Strong” instead, along with the date of the shooting — Oct. 1, 2017.
On that day, Stephen Paddock holed up in his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and took aim at a country music festival across the street. The gunman killed 59 people and injured more than 500 before killing himself as authorities descended on his hotel room.
More stories about the Las Vegas shooting:
• DoD: No active duty victims in Las Vegas shooting, shooter non-military
• Air Force surgeons saved lives following Las Vegas mass shooting
Nellis, which is about 10 miles north of Las Vegas, wanted to show its support of the city in a time of tragedy.
The F-15 also says “Vegas Strong” under the left wing, and another image depicts the words inside a heart accompanied by a cowboy hat and guitar.
The jet will be on display during the base’s Aviation Nation Air and Space Expo on Saturday and Sunday.