We stand with Orlando

There are certain moments in time that surpass the arch of everyday history; moments that seems to arc ever higher and freeze at the pinnacle, grotesquely piercing the blue of our everyday sky. Dates such as Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001, Dec. 14, 2012, and more burn in our minds like a spot permanently made blind from staring at the sun.

As of Sunday, June 12, 2016, a fun night in a club turned tragically wrong will forever be burned into the minds of Americans.

On this day in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, 49 lives were taken from this earth by an act of extremist terrorism and hate, making it the largest mass shooting in the United States to date.

In such a tragic time when the worst is all around, it is a beautiful thing when you begin to see the best come out in people.

During this testing time, I want to be known as the nation who came together. The nation that, despite a variety of views and opinions on the LGBT community, supported each other as a nation and truly mourned the abhorrent loss of life.

Rae Frame’s reaction echoes this feeling as she shares her experience:

“When I woke up to news of the Orlando attacks, I knew there would be fear, grief, and anger over the unbelievable hatred and violence against the LGBTQA community. But as the hours passed, I began to see an outpouring of support from friends, community leaders, and from individuals I never expected—like my mother, who I came out to just last year.

Instead of paralyzing us with fear, this event has made us all more dedicated to supporting one another, demonstrating how love is so more powerful than hate. The most moving tributes have been simple—our local Perkins flying the flag at half mast, the words of love and encouragement at the Orlando tribute in the Mankato Civic Plaza on June 13, and watching as the world lights rainbows from the I-35W bridge to the Eiffel Tower.

Those precious people who were taken from us that night inspire me to live without fear, in memory of those who do not get the chance to do so.”

However twisted, this moment serves as a reminder that our country, however bitterly divided it may be constantly advertised at times, is a single unit. When one part hurts, we all hurt. When one part mourns, we all mourn. We must remember that light can be found in this dark time as we bask in the rays of unity and support.

Through this, we learn that love is stronger than our differences. It shows us that even if we do not agree with people, we can still care deeply for them. To me, this is such a comforting message in a time where political and ideological differences seem to separate us indefinitely. We learn that our neighbors may not be as horrible as we think. We learn that we, at the end of the day, are people that would never wish such a tragedy to happen to anyone ever again.

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