Prayers for Orlando victims’ loved ones
At 2 a.m. June 12, Omar Mateen carried an assault rifle and pistol into the nightclub Pulse and started shooting, killing 49 and wounding at least 53, mostly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered and minority people. During the assault, Mateen called 911 to pledge allegiance to ISIS. The attack ended when Orlando police shot and killed Mateen.
Since then, TV and radio stations have provided around-the-clock coverage probing the ins and outs of the tragedy. They showcase any phone video and witness statements they can get. They ask questions. Why did the gunman have access to assault weapons? Was the massacre a hate crime or an act of terrorism? Was it an act against LGBT civil rights or an act of Islamic extremism? Is this shooting the worst mass shooting on American soil or the worst act of terrorism since 9/11? What did his wife know about the crime before it happened? What do the politicians say about it and how does the other side react? Worst of all, they bring the cameras in for close-ups and ask the mothers of the dead, “How do you feel, now that you know your son is dead?” Coverage will continue until another story grabs bigger headlines.
Our condolences go out to the families of those lost in this tragic event. No matter how it’s labeled, this has brought about a lifetime of grief for mothers, fathers, friends and the loved ones of those who lost their lives or suffered the wounds of this American tragedy. Our thoughts, hearts and prayers go out to those who will forever suffer the consequences of this senseless act. They have been deprived of love they will never get back. They will never get another opportunity to celebrate life with those who were lost and this loss will be a forever hole in their lives. We pray to God that their hearts may be healed by the love of those who suffer with them and that they will find some measure of peace in the days, months and years to come.
The Rev. Gerry and Susan Headley, Owings