The absolute unimaginable happened on June 12th, when 49 of our brothers and sisters, mostly members of the Orlando, Florida Latin LGBT community, were gunned down by a madman. Theories of his motive abound, with one being that he was a homosexual, fighting inward demons.
About 2,000 people gathered at Diversity Richmond in attendance of a candlelight vigil to recognize the people who were murdered and to begin the process of healing. Words of comfort, encouragement, anger and hope were shared. Candles were lit as names of the dead were read.
The international community responded overwhelmingly. The Eiffel Tower was illuminated in the rainbow colors, as just one example. President Obama ordered flags to fly at half-mast to recognize the victims of the largest mass murder in our nation's history. Hundreds of vigils were held around the country.
None of us can even begin to imagine being in that Orlando nightclub that night, but we all are feeling pain and sadness. We cannot allow people to forget. We have that responsibility, but maybe the best thing to do now is to begin our own healing.
Life can change in a moment's notice. If we heard one common message from most of the vigil speakers, it was that we must love one another. As one person who attended the vigil wrote on a card, "There will always be more love than hate."
If you would like to help us continue our good work, please mail a check to 1407 Sherwood Avenue, Richmond, Va. 23220, or donate online at www.DiversityRichmond.org. We can't do any of this without your support.