October 1, 2017 is a date that country fans and artists will never forget. On that day, 58 people were killed and 422 were wounded during a shooting that occurred at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
The shooter fired from his suite in the Mandalay Bay Hotel, which overlooked the festival. After the shooting, he was found dead in his hotel room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It was the third and final night of the Route 91 festival, and Jason Aldean was the closing artist. He was the performer on stage when the gunshots rang out.
— billboard (@billboard) February 16, 2019
Because of this, Jason’s life story has been forever intertwined with the Route 91 shooting. And when the second anniversary of the shooting came on Tuesday, people turned to Jason to see what he had to say.
On the morning of the shooting’s anniversary, Jason took to social media with a simple message in honor of those who lost their lives. He wrote, “This will always be a tough day for us. Not a day goes by that we don’t think about our @route91harvest family.”
Jason also posted an image used to recognize the shooting’s anniversary. The image shows an orange and white poker chip with the number “91” on it, and the chip has an angel wing on each side.
A bit of text at the bottom of the image reads, “Route 91 Warrior” and lists the date of the shooting.
Jason’s wife, Brittany, also posted a message in recognition of the shooting’s anniversary. Brittany was there during the shooting, and was pregnant with her and Jason’s son Memphis at the time.
She shared an image she and Jason took after making a return trip to Vegas following the shooting. The photo shows her and Jason standing with their arms wrapped around each other as they look at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in front of them.
“This day will always be a tragic memory,” Brittany wrote. “Always in our thoughts and prayers #route91family.”
The day after the shooting, news broke that rock and roll legend Tom Petty had passed away at the age of 66. So when Jason appeared on Saturday Night Live on October 7, just six days after the shooting, he sang Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” in honor of those who were killed.
You can listen to the official audio of that performance below.
Our hearts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones in the Route 91 shooting. May they all rest in peace.