This country star returns to Vegas with a tribute to the city’s heroes Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP
Dierks Bentley performs at LP Field at the CMA Music Festival on Thursday, June 11, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP)

It’s been just over two-and-a-half months since that tragic shooting that took place in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Many who survived the massacre are still suffering from both visible and invisible injuries, and others who weren’t there are still struggling with the senselessness of it all. Still others, like Dierks Bentley, are feeling a deep sense of compassion and gratitude to the heroes that rose from the tragedy.

Dierks was one of the many entertainers who took the stage in Las Vegas during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and during his performance, he recalled coming to Las Vegas just a week after the shooting to visit with hospital staff and first responders.

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“I came back here to visit some folks over at the Mercy Medical Center, and we’ve got some folks here tonight that came out,” he said. “I had a chance to play some songs over there and talk to some folks. It’s really important to me to get back out here because this town has melded into who I am.”

It really has. In addition to hosting the past two ACM Awards shows with Luke Bryan, Dierks also proposed to his wife, Cassidy, in Las Vegas.

Before performing his poignant hit song, “Riser,” the singer-songwriter explained, “This song has taken on a lot of different meanings, but now and probably for the rest of my life it will be about the folks who rushed towards danger instead of running away from it, that put themselves at risk. They are the risers amongst us.”

Music has definitely been a source of healing and hope in the weeks that have followed the festival massacre. Both Dierks and Cole Swindell dedicated songs and performances in Las Vegas to the victims and heroes from that tragic event. Luke Combs took the stage in the days following the shooting to perform “Used to You” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” and Maren Morris and Vince Gill released Maren’s previously-written song, “Dear Hate,” to raise money for those affected by this heinous crime.

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And no one can forget the incredibly emotional performance of “Why Not Me” that Eric Church gave at the Grand Ole Opry. Eric, who had headlined the festival on the Friday before the shooting, wrote the song after news broke of the tragedy. You can see that video on this page.

Our thoughts remain with those who are still coping with the devastation of this incomprehensible act.

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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