Jason Aldean and his wife Brittany Kerr Aldean, among thousands of others, are remembering the tragic events of Oct. 1, 2017.
It was the day a gunman opened fire on more than 22,000 music fans in attendance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, killing over 50 people and injuring more than 850 at the open-air concert near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
“Hard to believe it’s been 3 years since Route 91,” Aldean, 43, who had just taken the stage when the initial shots rang out, wrote on Instagram on Thursday. “That night was probably the worst night of our lives and not a day goes by that we don’t think about the people who lost their lives and the families who have forever been affected by it.”
Aldean was in the early stages of performing his song “When She Says Baby” just after 10 p.m. when the sniper fired upon the crowd of onlookers.
“October 1st will always be a day for us that is extremely hard to relive,” he added. “To everyone in the Route 91 family, we love u guys and we couldn’t have gotten through it without you. #CountryStrong #Route91family #VegasStrong.”
Brittany Aldean, who was looking backstage during her husband’s performance, also shared a touching tribute in recalling the tragedy.
“On one hand it seems like an eternity ago, a nightmare you try to forget. On the other hand its vividness makes it seem like it was yesterday,” wrote Brittany, who at the time was pregnant with the couple’s second child, now-three-year-old son Memphis. “3 years ago… I was 8 months pregnant (had Memphis 2 months to the day from the shooting) and my husband was prepping like any other day to entertain thousands of fans.”
“I used to live in Vegas so I had a bunch of friends at the show… little did we know our lives would change forever,” she continued. “The sound, the chaos, the overwhelming sadness and heartache… it’s something that never leaves you. They call us the ‘Route 91 Family’ in my opinion because we are forever bonded. An experience that thankfully only certain people know.”
Brittany said she relishes in meeting many of the families who were affected by the horrific moment in history.
“Our hearts still break for the families who lost a loved one💔 We are thinking of each and every one of you today, and everyday [sic]…” she ended the note. “And to the men and women who ran towards the bullets to protect all of us… WE ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL🖤💙 #vegasstrong #countrystrong.”
During a visit to “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” in December, Aldean opened up about how he coped with the evening’s tragedy, something he said he “wouldn’t wish on anybody.”
“I think for us, going back to Vegas was something that I think we wanted to do the right way,” said Aldean of his recent return to the city. “…We felt like there was going to be a lot of people at our show that probably haven’t been to one of our shows — maybe haven’t been to a concert at all since that show. If they were going to come back out and that was part of the healing process for them, we wanted to make it a safer environment. Something that made them feel safer.”
On Wednesday, a Nevada judge signed off on a broad settlement involving MGM Resorts International, corporate owner of the hotel and the concert venue, and lawsuits involving more than 4,000 plaintiffs.
Victims and families are due in coming months to receive a total of $800 million in compensation, while the company acknowledges no liability. It will pay $49 million and its insurance companies will pay $751 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report