Orlando Shootings: Compassion, Empathy, Sympathy

June 16, 2016 3:46 pm Last Updated: June 16, 2016 3:46 pm

America must prayerfully pause with profound compassion and listen to the cries flowing from the city of Orlando.

The senseless killing of 49 people and wounding of 53 others inside a nightclub must ignite the deepest emotions of sorrow, empathy, and sympathy in the heart of America.

This most recent manifestation of hatred demands our condolences for the indescribable suffering of the victims, as well as for their families and friends.

We must also honor many unsung heroes who placed themselves in harm’s way to prevent additional fatalities. First-responders and medical professionals also deserve our praise for their dedication to help the victims.

Empowered by prayerful hearts that refuse to despair, we must encourage the suffering, and remain vigilant to prevent future tragedies.

America must have hope, courage, and resolve so healing may come to the heart of our wounded nation.

Orlando Victims: A Spotlight

In order to enflame compassion in our hearts, let us take the time to reflect on some who died in Orlando.

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, a two-time cancer survivor who raised 12 children. One of these children, a son, was with her dancing on that fateful night and would see her collapse after being fatally struck by a bullet.

Akyra Murray, 18, was celebrating her graduation from West Catholic Prepatory School with a trip to Orlando. Akyra had graduated third in her class and was a star basketball player who had signed to play from Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania.

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25, grew up in Manati, Puerto Rico, and moved to Orlando a few years ago. His Facebook page detailed his studying health care management at the Ana G. Mendez University’s Orlando campus.

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27, had just purchased his first home, so his mother could have a nice place to live. He was the general-manager of a check-cashing store who, according to his sister Valeria Monroig, “cared more about others than about himself.”

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26, was a native of Queens, N.Y., according to her Facebook page, who graduated from Ridge Community High School in 2008. She was at Pulse Nightclub with her friend, Amanda Alvear, both of whom were confirmed killed during the shootings.

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25, was a leasing-agent in Orlando whose loss is best described on his Facebook page by his mother, “My heart is broken with the news of your departure, I can’t contain the tears and the pain I feel inside of me. You will always be my baby and I will always love you. May the Lord receive you with open arms and I hope to see you soon my love.”

Cory James Connell, 21, was a graduate of Edgewater High School, studying at Valencia College. His aspiration, according to his Facebook page, was to be a firefighter with one message noting him as “the greatest friend.” Cory was celebrating his 21st birthday on the night he was killed at the nightclub.

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31, was employed by Walt Disney World in Orlando. He was with his friend, Cory James Connell, apparently celebrating his 21st birthday on the night both were killed at the nightclub.

Final Reflections

The heartbreaking loss of these men and women, so cherished by their families, friends, and communities reminds us of the sacredness of human life and that we are all members of the same human family.

As we eternally honor their memories with compassion, empathy, and sympathy, let us remember that each life is sacred and every human being deserves dignity, respect, and reverence.

Vincent J. Bove
Vincent J. Bove

Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com

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