Although we obviously focus on entertainment news here at Beato’s Blog, we would be remiss if we did not pause to reflect on the happenings from the Orlando shooting at the nightclub known as Pulse from last Saturday night/early Sunday. There are really no words to describe the unimaginable horror that the occupants of that club must have endured and encountered that night. One minute patrons are partying and having fun with friends (new and old) and in the blink of an eye a number of clubgoers are senselessly and unjustifiably killed; with no explanation and no warning preceding the evil doing. Senseless slaughter. People were murdered in cold blood by a savage who has no place on this earth. He certainly had no right to determine who should live or die. That was not his choice to make although he apparently thought it was that night.
But rather than engage in the public policy discussions surrounding that event in terms of why it happened or what should be done about it (e.g., gun control and the like), we wanted to take a moment to offer our thoughts about the tragedy. Sometimes in situations like this we lose sight of the real focus which we think should be the victims and their families. Understandably, some focus on the resulting criminal investigation or engage in discussions aimed at preventing further atrocities. Those issues also need attention but for us here at Beato’s Blog we want to first pause to honor the victims. After all, they were real people with real lives. They were people with jobs, with brothers and sisters, they were parents, they had friends, and, for many of them, they also had the hope of living a long life which was dashed in a second by an unfathomable act that served no purpose whatsoever. A number does not adequately describe who these people were. Instead, we should look further.
We now know that of the persons killed they ranged in age from 18 to 50. One was a barista. Another an accountant. Another, a recent high school grad. There was also a travel planner and a future firefighter. Also a captain in the Army Reserve. There was even a pharmacy technician. In fact, most of us could drive around our own town and find similarly representative people in our own community who resemble the victims murdered in Orlando. The victims were real, they existed, and now, they are unfortunately gone.
Let’s get even closer. Here’s a picture of a young lady by the name of Akyra Monet Murray. Akyra was only 18 years old and she was the youngest of the victims.
Akyra was in Orlando on a family vacation after finishing high school in Philadelphia. A star athlete, she had apparently just signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Mercyhurst University.
It is so difficult and sad to look at this just one picture and indeed there are so many others that unfortunately follow it. The sadness and empathy is overwhelming. Quite frankly, when numbers are replaced with flesh and bones and the stories behind each one of those lives lost, it hurts to just think about it and also consider this. The little you read about these victims after a while gives you a remote sense of who they were, what they did, and other facets of their lives. However, they are still strangers and obviously people we will never come in contact with. Yet, we feel real pain even though we did not know them.
Now magnify that 100 fold if you knew any of these victims personally or even more so, if they were a brother or sister to you, your daughter or son, your spouse, or, your father or mother. They are people who will never come home, never return to school or work, and people their families and friends never got a chance to say goodbye to. The tragedy, sorrow and emotion in that case is beyond overwhelming. Therefore, we also cannot forget the sadness and pain felt by those left behind who are parents, siblings, friends, relatives, and most sadly, children, of the victims.
We will move on because that is what life requires us to do but, for the friends and families of the victims, relief may never be forthcoming.
Thus, if we do nothing else, we need to remember all those who lost their lives as well as their families and friends. That’s the least that we can do in the hopes that something like this never ever happens again. By honoring the victims of this tragedy this will hopefully teach us to truly appreciate just how precious life can be and how it can all change in a matter of seconds. That sobering thought just might move us to make changes in our world to prevent further happenings like this. For the victims and their families, we at least owe them that.
Here is the list of names that we should all remember:
- Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
- Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
- Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
- Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
- Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
- Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
- Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
- Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
- Cory James Connell, 21
- Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
- Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
- Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
- Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
- Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
- Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
- Martin Benitez Torres, 33
- Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
- Akyra Monet Murray, 18
- Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
- Luis S. Vielma, 22
- Amanda Alvear, 25
- Kimberly Morris, 37
- Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
- Stanley Almodovar III, 23
- Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
- Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
- Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
- Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
- Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
- Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
- Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
- Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
- Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
- Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
- Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
- Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
- Luis Daniel Conde, 39
- Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
- Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
- Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
- Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
- Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
- Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
- Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24
- Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
- Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
- Frank Hernandez, 27
- Paul Terrell Henry, 41
- Antonio Davon Brown, 29
- Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24