Pray­ers for Or­lando vic­tims’ loved ones

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

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

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