One year ago, 58 country fans were killed at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. The tragedy, which is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, also left 851 others injured and a lifelong impact on those who survived, as well as the country community as a whole. But on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, some of the genre’s biggest stars are proving to be #CountryStrong.
Jason Aldean, who was onstage at the time of the shooting, was one of the first to share a heartfelt message in tribute to the victims and survivors on Monday (Oct. 1), writing, “Thinkin about our Route 91 family today” on Twitter and Instagram. Several of Aldean’s fellow country stars also took to social media to honor those lost in the tragedy, including Eric Church, Maren Morris and Chris Young, the latter of whom was at the event when the shooting happened.
“I will never forget the loss that so many had to suffer through that day and all the days since,” Young wrote. “I’ll never forget having to call my family saying I hoped to see them again.”
Morris, who released a poignant track called “Dear Hate” in the wake of the shooting, tweeted a line from the song, also writing, “Thinking of the fans we lost a year ago. You’ll always be the 3 chords and the truth.”
Many of the artists who tweeted called for fans to join them in a moment of silence on country radio stations that took place at 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday, including Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire and Zac Brown Band. “Our thoughts & prayers are always with you,” Bryan added.
Newer country star Luke Combs was also at Route 91 when shots rang out and shared an impassioned post on Instagram, perhaps sending the most important message of them all: “We are in no way fully healed, and may never be, but we are all a hell of a lot stronger and continue to move forward. Forward for the victims, forward for their families, forward for the fans, and forward for country music.”
See some of the messages from the country community below.
One year ago today my world changed, my band and crew’s world changed, and the whole world changed. A night meant for music was silenced by the sound of gunfire. 58 people lost their lives that night and thousands more will never be the same. We are in no way fully healed, and may never be, but we are all a hell of a lot stronger and continue to move forward. Forward for the victims, forward for their families, forward for the fans, and forward for country music. No one could ever expect something like this to happen, so if you’re reading this just take a second to appreciate waking up today and getting to live your life and make sure you hug your loved ones a little tighter. If you’re suffering today, just know that this ole boy is thinking about you and that you are never alone. #CountryStrong #VegasStrong
— ChrisYoungMusic (@ChrisYoungMusic) October 1, 2018
“Dear Hate, I hate to tell you that love is gonna conquer all…”
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) October 1, 2018
— Eric Church (@ericchurch) October 1, 2018
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) October 1, 2018
At 12:05 CST, the country music community will be observing a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives at #Route91 last year and honor those who are continually impacted. Our thoughts & prayers are always with you. pic.twitter.com/xeNC51ZYJ1
— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) October 1, 2018
Please join my family and the entire country music community, at 10:05am PT / 1:05pm ET for a moment of silence to remember those lost and all who were affected one year ago today by the Route 91 tragedy. #CountryStrong #VegasStrong pic.twitter.com/re7lJXsTee
— Tim McGraw (@TheTimMcGraw) October 1, 2018
Join us, and the entire country music community, at 10:05am PT/12:05pm CT/1:05pm ET for a moment of silence to remember those lost and all who were affected one year ago today by the Route 91 tragedy. #CountryStrong #VegasStrong pic.twitter.com/MLQ48wIC7s
— Zac Brown Band (@zacbrownband) October 1, 2018
— Reba (@reba) October 1, 2018
Join Toby and the rest of the country music community in a moment of silence today at 12:05pm central. 58 lives were lost one year ago in the Route 91 tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada. They are remembered not just today, but every day. #CountryStrong #VegasStrong pic.twitter.com/OHHJFBQvNs
— Toby Keith (@tobykeith) October 1, 2018
today marks the 1 year anniversary of the Route 91 tragedy in Vegas.
please join me and the entire music community at 12:05pm CST today for a “moment of silence” by pausing for 58 seconds to remember those lost and affected. pic.twitter.com/Xij44gw7HV
— Jillian Jacqueline (@jillianjmusic) October 1, 2018
When I think about #Route91 I think about performing 60 to 90 min prior to the mayhem. Had it not been for a previously scheduled, post-show event up the Vegas Strip, we would’ve still been at the festival. Hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. You never know. @bigandrich
— cowboytroy (@cowboytroy) October 1, 2018
We sang God Bless America on the #ROUTE91HARVEST stage 90 mins before the bullets flew one year ago today. Remembering the killed and wounded, and reminding myself every heartbeat is a gift from God. Stay Vigilant, America. #SonnyMelton @KayaJones @deejaysilver1 #VegasStrong
— John Rich (@johnrich) October 1, 2018
Today we remember the victims & families of the #Route91HarvestFestival. Our thoughts & prayers go out to them. This photo is from my #VegasStrong tribute concert shortly after & I am honoring them at a very special event in the desert next year. #CountryStrong pic.twitter.com/u9SP1Rviuc
— Bret Michaels (@bretmichaels) October 1, 2018
I wanted to take a moment to honor the memories of those we lost, and those still healing from last year’s tragedy. Last night we honored the heroic fans who sacrificed everything in the midst of uncertainty. #VegasStrong pic.twitter.com/2LLiabEtUD
— Lee Brice (@leebrice) September 29, 2018
— Big Machine Music (@BigMachineMusic) October 1, 2018