Saturday was a beautiful day here in Florida. It began a bit on the overcast side, keeping the air cool before the sun broke through the clouds and promised a beautiful sunshine-filled day in here in the Sunshine State. My husband and I live an hour or so from Orlando. The day was beautiful, and we took our two oldest daughters to a local festival on the Gulf of Mexico in the afternoon with friends. We then dined at a great little local restaurant right on the bay, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was a beautiful day. Sunday began just as beautifully; the sun shining and the skies blue outside our home. Our kids woke us up around 8 am wanting to know what we had in mind for family day.
Coffee, first. They sat down to color and we made coffee. That’s when we got out our phones to begin checking emails and messages from overnight and saw the devastating news. At that point in time, the news was the more than 20 people were killed and more than 20 more were injured in Orlando at a club called Pulse, a nightclub for the LGBT community. Shocked, I asked my husband if he saw the news. He was reading it. So close to home, so close to our hearts – a city we visit several times a month – we were heartbroken and devastated.
As the day wore on, we continued to look at updates. Now that we know 49 people have been killed and more than 50 seriously injured, we are angry. We are angry that a man would walk into a club where people were just having a good time on a beautiful summer night in Florida and change lives forever. We were angry that mothers woke up in the middle of the night to text messages from their children informing them they loved them but that they were about to die. We were angry that friends and family didn’t know yet whether or not their loved ones were safe. We were angry that someone would come into such an amazing community and try to destroy it.
I say try, because one horrible, terrible, awful, hateful, disgusting, repulsive person cannot destroy our community. We here in Central Florida are strong; we have one another’s backs. We are all heartbroken and devastated and angry, but we are strong and we are going to pull through and we are going to mourn the lost, suffer with those left without their loved ones and we pull together in a time of need – because we might not know the victims of this heinous crimes personally, but we know that they are humans and they did not deserve to have their lives ended, changed and dictated for them by a madman. We are strong. We are #OrlandoStrong.
The world has shown so much love to our community in the past few days following this awful tragedy, including some of the most famous people in the country. The world has been touched by the support of everyone, and we have decided to share with you some of our favorite, most passionate, most caring tweets from celebrities sharing their heartbreak over what happened in Orlando with the rest of the world.
You don’t have to Kill somebody to Be somebody! That just makes you no “Body”! I pray for all the people who feel that Alone! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
— Queen Latifah (@IAMQUEENLATIFAH) June 12, 2016
I’m truly at a loss for words. To everyone in Orlando affected by this massacre, my thoughts, love, & prayers are with u ❤️????????????????
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 12, 2016
My❤️ Breaks for the LGBTQ community in Orlando!We are 1! You Touch one of us you Touch All of us! Freedom ain’t Free! STAND UP AMERICA!
— Queen Latifah (@IAMQUEENLATIFAH) June 12, 2016
Plane just landed. Turned phone on. I wasn’t ready to see that headline. What will it take just to have a conversation about #GunControl?
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) June 12, 2016
The LGBT community is natural, resilient, comes in every shape and hue. And speaking of us as we truly are matters in how we are treated.
— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) June 12, 2016
My heart breaks for Orlando. I cannot even comprehend the suffering for the victims – their friends & families. This is my family too.
— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) June 12, 2016
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) June 12, 2016
My prayers are with everyone affected by last night’s senseless tragedy. We can’t tolerate hate. Don’t lose hope, we can #change the future.
— Christina Aguilera (@xtina) June 12, 2016
— Julianne Moore (@_juliannemoore) June 12, 2016
It’s a traumatizing & emotional time for a many people. I dream of the world reflecting on what we can do to change this violence. #Orlando
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) June 12, 2016
It doesn’t matter where you stand on any of the issues at hand; whether you are gay, straight, pink, purple, black, white, old, young, male, female, pro-gun or anti-gun. What matters is that we are all humans and that we are all in this together. We are all fighting for a country, for a nation, for our people. We are fighting so that we can protect our freedom, so that we can raise our kids in a world where they don’t have to fear a fun night out. We are raising our kids together so that we can ensure our future is brighter.
Hollywood’s most famous celebrities stand with their opinions just as we all stand with ours. At the end of the day, it isn’t about laws and guns and policy – it’s about people being decent people, raising decent people and shutting down the hate, the animosity and the bullying. As my 7-year-old daughter said upon asking us what happened in Orlando, “That man must not have known that God loved him, and that’s why he made bad choices.”
It’s about being good people, showing our kids how to be good people and raising good people. If we can do that instead of teaching our kids to grow up with hate in their hearts, without love and without a good example, we might not have to worry so much about people like this. Love, tolerance, acceptance and decency; that’s what this is about. That man had none of the above.