Summit Daily letters to the editor: Orlando resident learns of massacre from Breckenridge home
Murder visits the happiest place on earth
I am a part-time resident of Breckenridge. My family lives here for several months over the summer and fall. My permanent home is Orlando.
The nightmare began on Sunday I was awakened with a very early phone call from my husband, who last week flew back home to take care of some business matters.
Orlando is known as the happiest place on Earth. The theme parks and even the very culture of the city itself are to provide joy and family time and a healthy atmosphere for anyone and everyone. It’s a city of genuine tolerance and acceptance. It’s a beautiful, vibrant, fabulous place to live or to visit. And then yesterday happened.
As the news unfolded and I saw my friend, Mayor Buddy Dyer, with grief all over his face, announce the horrific details of the tragedy. I was stunned into a stupor. The TV stayed on all day, and I spoke to each of my three children and my husband many times yesterday. We were all struggling along with a world too tired of news like this. I took a long hike to clear my head, but it wasn’t possible. A tragedy like this in the happiest place on Earth? Incomprehensible.
Today, we all must look instead to the 1,500 people in line in downtown Orlando to give blood. We must look at the worldwide outpouring of support and solidarity. We must offer fervent prayers. We must hug our families. We must show support by attending a memorial service or lighting a candle in whatever town, city or country we’re in. We must check our values and do everything we can to authentically accept all peoples regardless of color of skin, religion, age, economic status, and especially, sexual orientation.
The happiest place on Earth took a sucker punch — no, over a hundred sucker punches — to the gut yesterday. But today, we stand proud, with PRIDE, saying that evil cannot overcome joy. In the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Tony Awards, “Love, love, love, love … cannot be killed or swept aside.”
Holly J. Hatcher
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