Monday, June 13, 2016

We Will Not Let Hate Break Us

We've all heard about the terrorist attacks that happened in Paris and Boston and Brussels. It's heartbreaking that the list just seems to grow as the months go by. For each of these heart shattering attacks I remember turning on the news, and seeing these catastrophic events fold out on the TV before me. It is of course heartbreaking to hear about the tragedies, and to see it be played out on national television. 

But it's a very different and utterly eery feeling that comes over you when the same sort incident takes place in your own city. 

It's still surreal to me, and to so many others in Central Florida I'm sure, that this disgusting attack really took place less than 48 hours ago. You never think something bad is going to happen to you, or to your city, until sadly, it does. The truth is, this sort of incident could have happened anywhere. It's terrible that our world has gotten to such a dark place where, like I previously mentioned, major attacks keep occurring one after another.  
But let it be know that our city has not let it defeat us.

Amazingly, instead of crumbling in defeat, Orlando as a city - and as a family - has united as one. There is so much love being spread throughout Central Florida.
The response from the city and the country following the shooting has been incredibly powerful. 

We will not let hate overcome us, we will stand strong with one another, and lean on each other, to heal our beloved city. 
As my dear friend Lane wrote in her outstanding article earlier today, "people tried to make [the attack] political immediately after it happened. I'm writing to beg you to stop. Give the families time to mourn. Give the city time to grow stronger and more unified before ripping it apart with a political agenda."
Our city needs just that, time to heal, time to mourn those who lost their lives. Miraculously, Orlando is doing just that. Coming together with love and lending a hand wherever it is needed. 

Just yesterday over 1,500 units of blood were donated in Central Florida to heal the victims. 
On the day of the shooting, a local Chik-Fil-A cooked hundreds of chicken sandwiches and made gallons of sweet tea for the heroic people waiting in line for over 6 hours to donate blood. 
Even the company I work for, Rifle Paper Co., created an art print where all of the proceeds will go to helping the victims and their families. 
These are only a few examples of how the city has taken action to help and heal.

In a time filled with such sorrow and heartbreak; I am in awe over the way Orlando is uniting, loving, and caring for each other.
Although more than anything I wish this attack would have never happened. 
It is beautiful to see the city beautiful come together in this desperate time of need. 
We will not let hate break us. #OrlandoStrong

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