A memorial service held for Las Vegas shooting victim Bailey Schweitzer on Wednesday portrayed a young, giving woman who treasured her family — and they her.
Hundreds of people filled Valley Bible Fellowship to honor Schweitzer, one of nearly 60 people who died in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1. The service included the words of Mike Brown, who spoke on the family's behalf.
“She’s the most caring person God ever made, in my opinion,” he said. “She actively cared about everyone.”
Brown said he was in Las Vegas after the shooting to help comfort Schweitzer’s parents, Scott and Crissy, and the rest of the family. He said it was an experience he will never forget.
“Las Vegas will never be the same for me,” he said. “I’ve seen the most disgusting tragedy ever, but I’ve also seen people’s strength and their pain and their guilt and their happiness and their anger. There were so many people hurting.”
After briefly discussing the tragedy of the event, Brown focused on the type of person they were all there to honor. Brown said Schweitzer had special relationships with her brothers, Dakota and Brody.
“She always supported [Dakota] no matter what,” Brown said. “She always put him in line when Dakota didn’t want to be in line.”
Brown said Schweitzer had a tattoo on her inner forearm: “Saved by Grace.” In honor of his sister following the shooting, Dakota got a similar one: “Saved by Your Grace.”
“That’s how you know the importance that she had,” Brown said.
Brown said her other brother Brody would often go to her for advice — even though she was younger.
“If you’re asking a younger sibling for advice, that goes against sibling rules in the real world, but not in this family. That’s a unique trait that is so impressive,” he said. “[Brody] told me that she could laugh at herself. ... When people are truly confident and comfortable in their skin, they can laugh at themselves.”
Brown said Schweitzer spent a lot of time with her niece and nephew, even taking time off to go see her niece start school. She was close with her grandmother as well as her parents, who he said she would call every day.
“The family is so uniquely close that I can’t even explain it,” he said. “They think talking on the phone and interacting the way they do is normal. I know it’s not to some, but I wish it was all our normals.”
Brown said that Schweitzer had wanted to go to the Route 91 festival with her mom for the past four years, but those plans were always interrupted by weddings and other occasions. That is, until this fateful year.
“This time, Bailey told her mom that she wanted to buy [the tickets] as soon as they were available, and she did,” he said. “How many 20-year-old girls want to go to Vegas and hang out with their mom? I know one. That’s just a different, unique bond. My goal as a parent is that my kids will always want to hang out with me.”
Brown expressed a hope that other families could follow the example that Schweitzer and her family set.
“When tragedy strikes, we all seem to come together. We see each other more. We talk to each other more. We hug each other more,” he said. “I can truly say ... this family doesn’t need tragedy to do what they do. This is a normal day for them as far as congregating, being together, hanging out.”
Brown said people need to take advantage of the time they have because, as the Las Vegas tragedy showed, things can change in an instant.
“There is one thing in this world that is the most precious gift, and it’s called time,” he said. “You can’t recreate it. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. You can’t buy it. You can’t store it. You can’t pass it along.
"But you can waste it, so take the time to be like the Schweitzers.”