Jun 13, 2016

24 hours in the city

The Plaza on Friday night, the Pulse club last night.  One killed doing what she loved to do, scores more killed for enjoying the lights.

I've lived in Orlando for most of my life. I've seen just about everything there is to see here, for better and for worse. And lord knows I've routinely poked fun at this town over the years for all the bizarre s--- that has gone down here. But I can honestly say that the one thing I’ve never seen or experienced here is people demonizing other people.

This town is far from being some cauldron of hatred. This is a town where damn near everyone is honest, hardworking, authentic, approachable, and wants nothing more than to live in harmony. This is a town full of people who are willing to listen to, and actually learn from, the life stories of our coworkers, our neighbors, and anyone who happens to cross our paths.

Orlando will have been left shocked, saddened, despaired, and outraged by the events of this weekend, and justifiably so. There will be thousands upon thousands of people who were affected in one way or another by these events. There will be countless friends and neighbors who will be grieving for years to come because of everything that's happened this weekend.

But my experiences here also tell me that there’s still plenty of heart, soul, and character left in Orlando, and that there are people who fight every day to maintain the very best things this city has to offer. And difficult as this may be to say, let alone do, just hours after what seeing has gone down over the last 48 hours, while the wound is still raw and the hurt is very much real...

This city, and everyone who calls this place home, should not allow even these events to shatter our beliefs about who we are.