Sometimes the things that you feel the most strongly about are the most difficult things to write about. No matter how you cut it, the words just aren’t right; they just don’t do it justice. The Pulse Nightclub attack is one of those things.
In a world filled to the brim with violence, it’s easy to grow accustomed to it. The loss of life, gore, and sorrow, it all becomes “normal.”
We’re bombarded with news headlines of fatal shootings, drownings, car crashes, and attacks. “If it bleeds it, it ledes.” It’s natural to become desensitized to the violence. It’s a part of self-preservation.
The number of fatalities is just that — a number. We don’t feel the gravity of what just happened.
But, at some point, something will hit too close and too hard. You can’t just turn it off, and go on with your day.
June 12, 2016, was the day I really felt the gravity of what just happened.
I live two hours away from Orlando. How could this happen in a place I’m so very familiar with?
And then I heard the stories and I saw the videos of people being carried to cars...It was so much.
It’s not just 49 lives lost, it’s the lives who lost one of the 49.
It’s 49 cell phones ringing in pools of blood in a silent room. Ringing and lighting up with names of loved ones whose calls and texts were going to be forever unanswered.
No “night nights,” and “I love yous.” Mothers who lost their children. Children who lost a parent. Siblings who lost siblings. Friends and lovers who lost friends and lovers.
All of this pain for what? Why? Why? Why would anyone do that?
Because some ISIS loser — who probably gets off to the thought of pleasing his leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — decided they had to die in the name of jihad. Why? Because of who they loved.
There was more love in that club than there will ever be amongst deranged ISIS jackasses.
That night, the city of Orlando came together. It didn’t matter who they were, people were filling up cars and rushing victims to the hospitals. Nurses and doctors who got off at 11 pm came back to help. Law enforcement came to the rescue and while everyone was running away from the danger, they ran towards it. Survivors helped survivors.
While I don’t think we can “love” the hate out terrorists, I do think the love we show each other is a sign of strength and resilience. No matter how bad it is, we will always come together in times of need. That is The American Way.
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was affected by this tragedy.