You might have noticed that there was a common accessory at this year’s ACM Awards. Members of Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town and many others wore gold pins with a weighty meaning behind them.
The “851” pin represents the number of people who were injured during the Route 91 Harvest Festival on October 1, 2017 when a gunman shot at the crowd from his hotel room during Jason Aldean’s set. The “58” tragically refers to the number of people who died during the shooting, called the deadliest mass shooting in modern America. Lastly, the “1” notes the unity needed after such an awful event and, according to the card that came with the pins, to “join our country community in conversation. Isn’t it worth it if it saves even 1 life?”
Karen Fairchild posted the three gold pins to Instagram with a lengthy caption starting with, “Tonight I’m gonna wear these pins for the 851 injured, the 58 lost and the 1 life we can save in the future if we’re willing to start a conversation about things that need to be done for our children, our families and our fans.”
In response to Fairchild’s post, country music fan and Route 91 survivor (@chattipatti515) wrote, “I was lucky enough to go to the awards tonight and saw someone wearing a 58 pin on the way out and it touches my heart. Still so hard to believe what we all went through. Pray that others are able to heal.”
Many others posted about the pins and their presence at this year’s ACM Awards with the hashtag #FansFirst, all honoring those who endured the life-changing even in a quiet, yet distinct way.