The horrible shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival happened one year ago tonight. 58 dead. Another 851 injured.
It was an event literally any one of us could have been at, being country music fans. Maybe you knew someone who was there. Maybe you WERE there. We have a very close friend in the music industry who barely escaped with his life running from the backstage area as bullets rained down around him.
It changed us, but also, it didn’t.
How did we change? I don’t think any of us, ever again, will take for granted our safety at any large-scale event. I think we all now think ahead of time about a plan, about what to do if, God forbid, it were to happen to us.
But how didn’t we change? Well, for starters, we still go to these events–outdoor concerts, open air festivals. The demented actions of one twisted individual were not and will never be enough to dampen our intention of living our lives. He doesn’t get to change our narrative, he won’t be allowed to take that away from us.
Nor will anyone else.
We’re thinking about our friend this morning, Matt, the one who escaped with his life. And we’re thinking about the thousands of others who were there that night, and their families, and the terrible memories they will never be able to shake. And we hope they know that we’re there for them, all of us: you, me, everybody. Because that night one year ago changed us in one other way, too: it made us stronger; it made us come together and realize in no uncertain terms that evil doesn’t stand a chance–will never stand a chance–as long as good people stand against it, together.
Jason Aldean, who of course was onstage when the shooting began, posted this simple remembrance on Twitter this morning
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) October 1, 2018
Jake Owen had performed earlier in the day
I will never forget the evening of October 1st, 2017. A year ago today people were loving life. They were singing along. Families and friends. 58 lives were lost and thousands were injured and lives changed forever. You will always be in my heart and on my mind.
— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) October 1, 2018
Chris Young, who also performed that day, shared his thoughts as well
— ChrisYoungMusic (@ChrisYoungMusic) October 1, 2018
And lastly, some words from our buddy Matt himself, who shared the following earlier today on Facebook.