49 killed and 53 injured, according to the last count I read. Those stark numbers take on a different meaning upon seeing the memorials left by so many people for those they loved. Even now, people are there sitting, praying, crying, wandering, talking and taking pictures. Here you can feel the result of a senseless tragedy, wrought by a person filled with nothing but Hate.
I can't even contemplate the “Why” of such a thing because, in this Nation, there is no place for it. Our founders sought a nation based upon “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as “unalienable rights” given to us by our Creator. And yet a madman, filled with hate against people he did not even know, robbed innocent people of these very things.
To the law enforcement, military, medical and government professionals who have risen to this horrible challenge, yet again, thank you. You defend and protect those very freedoms we hold so dear. Your unyielding efforts give us the ability to continue living our lives with a sense of normalcy that would otherwise be impossible. Sadly, there are places in this World where such horrible things happen with regularity, yet seemingly few care or are equipped to respond.
We all have our own version of the “American Dream” in our hearts and minds. And we live in a Nation that was built on tolerance and respect for those differences. The United States of America is a special place in the history of civilization. A crazed gunman will not change that.
But perhaps more love and caring can help offset the hate, and heal the pain which has invaded our lives. Orlando truly is “The City Beautiful” -- it possesses a certain Magic that transcends cultures, religions and languages -- and the memorial by Lake Beauty is a testament to that fact. The City will recover; our Nation will persevere.
I didn't see a single message of Hate at this memorial, but I saw hundreds that included the word Love. The most powerful force in our World is Love.
Tolerance and Respect are the expressions of Love for those we may not know, or fully understand, but whose lives matter equally to our own.
Live and let live. Respect for all.