NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville city leaders and country music stars came together to honor the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas.
The vigil was held at Ascend Amphitheater. Candles were given to everyone who attended.
Charles Esten welcomed the crowd. Country music singer Vince Gill performed, Amy Grant led the crowd in a prayer, and Alison Krauss and Keith Urban both performed.
Thousands of country music fans became sitting ducks in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, when a gunman fired hundreds of bullets into the Las Vegas Strip crowd.
More than 58 people were killed during an outdoor performance by Jason Aldean. News of the tragedy hit home in Nashville.
"It's the one thing about country music," said Keith Urban before he performed Bridge Over Troubled Water. "It's about community. I did know those people in some way."
Mayor Megan Barry encouraged participants to honor the victims, and bring light in a time of darkness.
"I'm reminded over the last two months the counterweight to grief is community," said Mayor Barry. "That is what Nashville does so well."
For some in attendance, it was an opportunity to grieve, and begin the healing process.
"It's heartbreaking to me," said Caroline Wildfeuer. "I just put my hand out and grab the next one, and hope we can pull each other through it."
"I just wanted to come out and honor those we lost today," said Sam Petrony, who graduated from UNLV. "I think it helps with the healing."
Mayor Barry, Sarah Trahern, CEO of CMA and Butch Spyridon, President/CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp released the following statement:
“Safety at all of our events is and will remain our top priority. We are constantly adjusting our event security measures year-round, partnering and consulting with experts at the federal, state and local levels through our full-time security team and the Metro Police Department. We will continue our efforts to provide the most comprehensive security possible.”
Metro Nashville Police also released a statement:
Chief Anderson's statement on Sunday night's tragedy in Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/hiNmMWdLQ9— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) October 2, 2017