Pulse 5 Years Later: A united Orlando is still the best version of ourselves

As the Orlando community remembers the Pulse tragedy five years later, the one aspect of that day I remember after mourning the victims, and the pain we all experienced that day, is the way we all came together to pick ourselves back up in the following weeks.

That morning plays through my mind a lot. The first news alert which was released nationally but had our hometown on the subject line. That devastating second press conference with Mayor Dyer and the elevated number of neighbors we lost. The descriptions of what was happening in our medical facilities as our first responders tried to save as many lives as possible.

But there are also the actions many of you took to help the survivors and to honor the victims.

Lines around the block at blood donation points in the Orlando area. Organizations standing up tents and opening up rooms to help families through the confusion and pain. The vigils which drew hundreds that night, and later tens of thousands in the following days to remember what took place.

That was this community at it’s best.

Through the pain, that’s what I try to see sitting here and typing this five years later.

And it makes me proud of living in this community with a lot of you.

Yeah, we’ve got so many problems here in Orlando, but when the times get tough, we come together and that means something.

The 12th of June falls on Saturday this year. Take some time to reflect. Watch or attend an event honoring the victims this weekend. Let’s not forget about the tragic events of that morning.

And let’s keep helping each other as we move into the future together.

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