#VegasStrong: Jason Aldean, Eric Church, and more remember Route 91 Harvest festival victims and survivors 1 year after shooting

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Jason Aldean, Jake Owen, Eric Church. (Photos: Getty Images)
Jason Aldean, Jake Owen, Eric Church. (Photos: Getty Images)

It’s been one year since Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 country music fans, killing 58 people and leaving over 500 injured at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas. It’s the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, and there are still few answers about Paddock’s motive. Jason Aldean, who was onstage when gunfire broke out, shared a tribute Monday to his “Route 91 family.”

Jake Owen, who performed earlier in the day before the shooting, wrote that he will “never forget the evening of October 1st, 2017.” Owen was standing on a side stage watching Aldean close out the festival when bullets rained down from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. He ran and hid behind a car.

Singer Chris Young, who hid from gunfire in a trailer backstage, tweeted Tuesday that he’s “lucky to be alive” and “will never forget the loss that so many had to suffer through that day.”

Eric Church, who headlined the festival two nights before the shooting, shared the lyrical video of his song “Why Not Me,” which he wrote days after the tragedy.

In a post last year that accompanied the video, the singer expressed the guilt he felt over the horrible incident. “Those are my people. Those are my fans,” he said. “And that night, something broke in me, on Sunday night when that happened. And the only way I’ve ever fixed anything that’s been broken in me is with music. So I wrote a song…”

Related Video: Route 91 Shooting Survivor Tells Her Story

Tim McGraw encouraged people to join in a moment of silence today to “remember those lost and all who were affected one year ago today by the Route 91 tragedy.”

Singer Maren Morris also paid her respects.

Aldean is days away from finishing his High Noon Neon Tour and spent Sunday night with about 500 survivors of the Vegas massacre during his stop in Irvine, Calif. He had just finished performing his fifth song, “Any Ol’ Barstool,” when gunfire broke out last year, and Aldean kept the song fifth on his setlist during the tour.

“I know we have a lot of Route 91 family in the house tonight,” Aldean told the crowd after finishing the song. “Thank you for being here.”

“We have some business to finish here,” he added before heading into “When She Says Baby,” the song he had started when the shooting occurred. “Last time I saw some of you guys, we got cut off. Let’s pick this (stuff) back up right where we left off.”

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