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The City Beautiful

orlando_strong

ORLANDO STRONG! 

As a longtime resident of Orlando, I have grown to love the place they call “The City Beautiful”.

For many years I too labored under the false idea that Orlando was the city of Mickey Mouse and that the only thing to do was go to amusement parks.  In 2000 I took a trip to Orlando to consider a job opening and was amazed to find that there was a major city outside of Disney in Orlando.  They had a bustling downtown, hundred year old oak trees and this little thing called “Church Street” that was home to legendary bars and clubs.   As I walked and drove around Orlando I soon realized why there were so many signs up that said “Welcome to Orlando, The City Beautiful”.  From the legendary Citrus Bowl to Leu Gardens, we fell in love with the city beautiful and to date, we have still not visited the many places we can because there is just too many things to do!

My children have been raised here in Orlando, and we have come to know this place as our home.  Over the last 15 years we have had opportunities to move and go to one of the big cities up north or go to S. Florida to be closer to family and friends, but Orlando has held us in her heart through it all.   As an Orlando Magic season ticket holder, I have been there when they were terrible and rebuilding and I have been there when Dwight Howard carried us to the cusp of a championship.    I have screamed at the top of my lungs (ask my friends) as the University of Central Florida won its first ever major bowl game against Baylor in the Fiesta bowl and I have watched sky scraper after sky scraper rise up on our city’s skyline the last fifteen years.   I have cried as my daughter sang in the candle light vigil at EPCOT and I have held hands and cried with strangers at St. James cathedral after 9-11 when we had a vigil.  Sadly, more vigils are coming.

The last 72 hours have been horrific for my city beautiful.  Sunday morning we awoke to find that once again Islamic terrorists had attacked our country and attempted to take our rights away from us.  49 innocent lives were taken away in a senseless manner that can only be described as barbaric and inhuman.    As we watched this horror unfold we can only wonder what the loved ones of the victims may have been going through.  Police said that despite nearly 50 victims laying on the ground in front of them, that the most vivid memory will always be the sound of cell phones ringing on the victims as they lay there waiting to be identified.  Their loved ones were trying desperately to reach them with the feint hope that somehow, someway they may have made it out alive.  The horror and anguish is almost unimaginable to most and it will take a long time to heal this city but heal it will.  We always do. We are Americans and this is what we do.  We overcome, we fight, and we kick some ass and then begin the healing process.  We are mourning today for all.  Not for the Gay and Lesbian Community, not for the Bi or Transgender community and not for the strait community.  We are mourning for all of America for this senseless act of terrorism.  The victims that died were my brother and sisters in Orlando. ..The City Beautiful.    Please stay beautiful Orlando

During this difficult time, we offer heartfelt condolences to the families of the 49 victims who lost their lives during the Pulse tragedy. To the families and friends of the victims, your city is with you and will continue to be with you as you deal with this unimaginable tragedy.

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

 

 

 

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Date
June 14th, 2016

Author
jbusacca

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