On Sunday night (April 15), the 2018 ACM Awards opened with a straightforward, but moving, tribute to the victims of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. Following the show, some viewers have criticized the effort, and on Monday (April 16), Maren Morris responded with her own thoughts about the criticism.

In response to an editorial from Rolling Stone Country, "How the ACM Awards Dropped the Ball on Recognizing Route 91 Tragedy," Morris tweeted that the piece was "so unnecessary."

"Artists who want to talk about Vegas HAVE talked about it and everyone just wants to exhale," she writes. "How about you ask one of the country music fans who survived that night if they felt the 'ball was dropped.' Or Jason. I think the ACMs WERE respectful.

"I get that everyone has an opinion," Morris adds in a second tweet, "but if you weren’t there and they aren’t YOUR fans who were taken, maybe don’t judge a show that’s trying to help everyone move on."

Remembering the Victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting

Numerous fans -- including some survivors of the Route 91 shooting -- have responded in support of Morris' tweets.

Morris, Jason AldeanMiranda LambertLuke Bryan and Thomas Rhett opened the 2018 ACMs not with a song but with a simple, spoken-word message that acknowledged the pain of the situation and pointed viewers to music and its healing power: "We thought about starting with a song," Aldean explained during his part, "but it's a lot bigger than a single song." In the lead-up to the awards show, too, the victims and survivors of the tragedy, were honored in non-televised ways as well: During rehearsals for the awards show, Aldean and Rhett visited with some of the survivors of the shooting, and at the ceremony, some artists and country music industry members wore pins in honor of the victims.

For many artists, the 2018 ACM Awards were their first return to Las Vegas following the Route 91 tragedy. It was an event that many said would be a crucial step toward recovery for the country music community.

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