Vigil for Orlando Victims Set on Steps of Belton Courthouse
Sunday, June 12 of 2016 will be a day that's penned in the history books as the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, with 50 dead and 53 currently undergoing medical treatment from the terrorist attack at Pulse Nighclub in Orlando.
The world has responded with sympathy and anger ranging from hashtags such as #PrayforOrlando, angry posts about gun control, posts referring to political agenda, equal rights and much, much more. Everyone is entitled to their opinion in a horrific time such as this, but social media has a tendency to rear the ugly head of its users - because people tend to fight when emotions and passion run high.
Last night on Sunday, June 12, community members of the City of Belton paid tribute the old-fashioned way. About 40 people stood in a circle in front of the courthouse with candles, and spoke what was on their mind.
While some did get a little heavy-handed with political conversation (the conversation is important, but much too soon to talk about on the day of a tragedy), many spoke about the importance of personal connection and standing proud rather than shying away in a heated time such as this. The vigil appeared to be hosted by Stonewall Democrats Central Texas.
An Army Veteran who toured in Afghanistan said his piece, which also included the awareness of not blaming an entire group of people on the terror that occurred early Sunday morning.
Another spoke about his friend who was present at the Columbine Shooting in Colorado in 1999. She threw a book at one of the shooters before taking cover. His tangible concern for his friend who has a hard time dealing with stories like these was so real, everyone could not hold back shedding a tear.
Members of the LGBT community were present and were remarkably strong and unified, considering the demographic the shooter targeted.
"My cousin was worried saying well wouldn't you guys at the vigil be vulnerable to violence tonight," said one of the speakers. "I told my cousin, they've already hurt us. What else can they do? We're not scared of people like that."
THAT, is why we hold a vigil. To be there for our neighbors and to keep our prayers in our hearts for those affected by tragedy.