If you know anyone that was in Las Vegas at the time of that devastating shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, you know that not all wounds can be seen. Broken hearts, along with the actual horror of witnessing the nightmare, can take as long or longer to heal. But Jason Aldean is starting that healing, and he hopes he can help others, too.

Jason took the stage in Oklahoma last night for the first time since the tragic event where he was performing when gunfire hailed down on the audience. And in his own real and extremely heartfelt words, the country music superstar addressed the incident in Tulsa.

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He began by saying, “It’s been a tough week and a half for all of us up here onstage, and I want to say thank you guys for being here tonight.” He added, “I hope none of you guys ever experience anything like that. It’s been a tough thing to deal with for all of us up here. I think the one thing that’s probably going to help us more than anything is playing for you guys tonight, so thank y’all so much.”

Jason had canceled a few shows in the wake of the shooting, and he spoke about those who lost their lives in massacre, those who were physically injured and those who carry other scars.

“I just want to say that every day that goes by we think about the 58 people that lost their lives,” he said. “I don’t really count that asshole that was doing the shooting, which was 59. We count the 58. But not a day goes by that we don’t think about them and our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and everybody else that was injured in that thing, and everybody who just was there. Because even though people may not have physical scars, it’s going to be a mental thing for a lot of people for a long time.”

The rugged country boy also had an incredibly sincere message of love and resilience to share.

“Sometimes this country can be really divided, and that’s really an unfortunate thing to see, but it’s been really cool to see … all the love and support that’s been going on over the last 10 days or so because of what happened in Las Vegas, ” he said. “I just feel like if we could do that on a daily basis, the world would be a lot better place … These people are going to continue to try to hold us down and continue to try to do things to us that are going to make us live in fear and be scared and not go out and do what it is we want to do, whether it’s go to a concert, or go to a ballgame, or go to the mall or go to a movie. And to those people that keep trying to do that I say, ‘Fuck you, we don’t really care what you try to say, what you try to do to us.’ Even though the United States may seem really divided and we seem like we’re fighting with each other, at the end of the day, this is the best country in the world and I’m glad to be here and glad to be a part of it.”

Hell, yes!

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Jason ended this intimate moment with his audience by adding, “I struggled over the last couple of days trying to figure out how to play this show because I really didn’t know how this was going to go, how we were  going to act, how you guys were going to react to us. But the one thing I’ve tried to do for the last 13 years or so is go out every night and make sure that the people that came out to the shows got a chance to forget about their daily problems. They got a chance to come out for a few hours, have some fun, drink a few beers, let loose, sing some songs. And so what I want to do tonight, I want this to not be something that’s going to be a downer for the rest of the night. I want to play this show for you guys that the people in Las Vegas came to see and didn’t get a chance to. So, I guess what I’m saying is, from here on out, turn this shit up and let’s get it going!”

We implore you to watch this video above or listen to the audio, because it is impossible for us to adequately convey the passionate tone in Jason’s voice through a transcription. And it’s enough to bring tears to your eyes. In fact, it did.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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