Monday, June 20, 2016

In cities in towns all over the world

Kingman, AZ played host to a memorial for the Orlando shooting victims last night with a wide variety of people in attendance and a stirring address by Father Leonard Walker, an openly gay local priest. The faces of the 49 people who were murdered, were projected on a screen, giving the mourners an opportunity to see the men and women who had been gunned down, simply because they were in a gay club. The large bell here was rung once for each person, as two people read the names that I listed here yesterday.

Last Sunday night, memorial vigils began.  Seeing pictures of a very large one in San Francisco (and seeing friends of mine participate), helped to ease the paing of the madness that had occurred at the start of the day.  Moring candlelight services have happened since.  In addition to last night's gathering here in Arizona, an estimated 50,000 people gathered in downtown Orlando for what was probably the largest remembrance anywhere.

I don't want to generalize about any location because good and bad can be found anywhere, but I was surprised to see folks come out in this small Arizona town. Another nearby community, Bullhead City, is also having a memorial this week. Actually they are happening in places you just might not expect, and all around the globe.

It is heartwarming to see people stand up against hate, and more of that is becoming visible, now over a week after the horrible massacre. Yes, there has been a lot of hate speech, but others are coming forward and saying they will not tolerate hate anymore. It was lovely to see news of a coffee shop in Europe that put a sign up saying "If the sight of two men holding hands disturbs you, we don't want your business." We need more and more people standing up for love. That, truly will make this a better world. In little towns and big cities, we all need to say "Enough! I am not going to be part of the hate."

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