"After calling 911 to declare his allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, a gunman here killed 49 people and wounded 53 in a crowded gay nightclub early Sunday, the worst mass shooting slaughter in American history, law enforcement officials said."
From the June 12, 2016, New York Times story: Shooting at Orlando Nightclub Kills 49, Police Say. Written by Lizette Alvarez, Richard Perez-Pena, and Steve Kenny.
Waking up this Sunday morning was routine as ever, and I opened my eyes to check the news on my phone while still in bed. That's when I read about the shooting in Florida, and my pillow was wet with tears before I even lifted my head off of it.
I'm not sure what can be said about a tragedy like this, so many more things are felt instead. Sadness. Anger. Despair. Unity. My heart aches for all of those who perished and were injured, and all of their family and loved ones. 49 lives lost. 49 Americans gone. 49 fellow LGBT brothers, sisters, and friends no longer here. Countless lives forever changed. It's all so hard to take in.
Thank you to all of the police, medical emergency workers and armed forces who helped bring the gunman down. It's because of you that our country remains as great as it is.