50 families are grieving, 50 sons and daughters taken before their time. 50 lives lost and countless more friends grieving alongside the families. Countless thoughts and prayers from around the world are with the families and friends of the 50 victims of the Pulse mass shootings in Orlando, Florida. 53 more, at least, are injured.
The victims did not seek nor invite the terror that faced them at 2am Sunday 12 June. When one lone gunman walked in to Pulse and killed 50 and injured just as many in a three-hour hostage situation at the nightclub.
At 5am the decision was made for the police to take the nightclub, and the gunman was consequently killed by the police.
This is now the worst mass shooting since the tragedy of Virginia Tech University, where 32 were killed in 2007 by Student Seung-Hui before he turned the gun on himself.
This is not the time or place to talk gun politics in America or analyse the mentality of the shooter. This time and our thoughts today should be with those 50 families, those countless friends, the wounded, our American cousins. This is not an ‘LGBT tragedy’, this is a tragedy.
Our global community has 50 fewer beloved members tonight. May they rest in peace, every single one and may the injured recover and grieve. May our thoughts unite us against those who seek to divide us. Let us stand with pride with the fallen 50 from Orlando.