One week ago, America was left silenced, scared and dumbfounded by the events that transpired in Las Vegas while Jason Aldean was performing at an outdoor concert.  As we all try to find answers Jason, who has postponed shows since the tragedy, surprised Saturday Night Live viewers to deliver a powerful statement during a cold open on Saturday (Oct. 7).

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“This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone I’m struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting, they’re our children, parents, brothers, sisters friends — they’re all part of our family. So I want to say to them: We hurt for you and we hurt with you, but you can be sure we’re going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit is unbreakable.”

Aldean closed out by playing Tom Petty’s ” I Won’t Back Down,” honoring the song’s original hitmaker, who died on Oct. 2.

Read More: Jason Aldean Honors Vegas Shooting Victims, Tom Petty on 'SNL' |