It is not often (thank goodness) that you turn on the news to find a horrific act of violence has happened in a place you are familiar with. That happened for us this past weekend. DH grew up in Orlando, so even though he didn't know any of the victims, he was very familiar with the area. Just the weekend before we had driven past Pulse more than once while we were in Orlando for DH's sister's retirement party.
Watching the news has been very hard for the last few days. Watching the mother standing outside the club crying because she had no news about whether her son was alive or dead, I cried. What mother can watch that and not imagine herself in that woman's place?
Last night, Blaze and I attended a vigil for the victims at the Florida State Capital. It was not as well attended as I had expected, but was beautifully done. Wild flowers and candles were handed out to all the attendees. There were chants and singing. Members of the clergy spoke. What I was most impressed by, though, was the eloquence of the college students who spoke. These were leaders of various student organizations, who spoke with such passion and clarity that it gives me hope for what the world will become under their leadership.
About 20 minutes before the actual event:
Musician preforming and leading the group in songs:
Some people brought signs from home, while others were making posters with material provided on-site.
Some of the most eloquent speakers of the evening:
The candlelight vigil:
The T-shirt that Blaze is wearing was made by a student, who brought a large bag full to hand out to the crowd.