Yes, Saturday night was humanity at its lowest, but humanity at its BEST is exemplified in how Orlando has reacted to the crisis. Thousands of people lined up for hours and hours to give blood. People donated sunscreen, tents, food, water, burial plots, counseling services, comfort animal services, services, services. . . .
Respect, dignity, compassion and acceptance of our fellow citizens, no matter color, religion or sexual identity has been the mantra in O-town. For the very first time in the 24 years I have lived here, I am proud to say I live in Orlando. It is because of the people. We, as a community of peoples who, for the most part, were all born and raised somewhere else, have grown up.
You know about WBC? They protest and interrupt funerals for gays and military personnel? They hold up horrible signs and scream protests at people in pain beyond the imaginable. So far, they are staying out of the area. Just in case they show up, there are whole groups blocking off their access during the funerals. People using sheets, blankets, large theater angel wings - anything that will protect mourners from dealing with that insanity.
Orlando IS the City Beautiful. Resilient, life goes on.
Talk to you soon.