By now, you have undoubtedly heard the tragic news from Orlando. Late into the wee hours of Saturday, June 11th, 2016, a lone gunman with a cache of weapons and ammunition infiltrated Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub. He took several hostages, and, although he was eventually killed in a standoff with the police, he managed to kill 49 innocent clubgoers and seriously wound approximately 53 more. It was the worst mass shooting in American history.
I will not go into details about the shooter, or what his motives may or may not have been. Those are matters that will be discussed ad infinitum by countless news sites. Instead, we're choosing to focus on a different side of these dark events. When the people of Orlando were confronted with a horror no community should ever have to face, they showed their true colors - and, in doing so, they've set an example for all of us.
As the news began to circulate early Sunday morning, lines started forming all over the city.
Hundreds of people answered the call and gathered outside One Blood, a prominent local blood bank.
While donations of all blood types are welcomed and encouraged, the most urgent need is for O+ and O- blood types, as well as AB plasma.
Unfortunately, current federal guidelines prohibit donations from the one group that wants to donate to the cause the most: gay men.
In the end, love will always prevail. The gunman may have thought that he was striking a blow on behalf of his own twisted, hateful ideals, but the events that followed are a true testament to the power of love. The people of Orlando have suffered a living nightmare, and their response is one that we should all be inspired by.
We will not give in to hatred; we will not succumb to the anger that the shooter sought to incite. We will never surrender our humanity to men like him. We will not cower down when they show us how ugly life can be.
Instead, we will stand tall - men, women, and children of all ages, and from all walks of life - united by our unwavering conviction in one simple truth: Love. Always. Wins.
Remember to SHARE this inspiring show of humanity with your friends and family.