No More, “Never Forgets”

September 1, 2016

Today has been an interesting day.

It's the 15th anniversary of September 11th, the nation's worst terrorist attack. Tomorrow, Monday, also marks the three-month anniversary of the Pulse shooting. Both of which would leave me to be somewhat remote or separated from the world. But, unfortunately I couldn't just stay home and seclude myself from what was going on.

In addition to everything else that's been happening, a close family friend was admitted to the hospital on Friday. It's unlikely he will make it much longer, which while many have been upset by, I actually hope moves quickly. He's lived a full life and deserves nothing but happiness and final rest for which he's worked so hard. However, his rest has come at a huge personal burdon.

To see him, I had to visit Orlando Regional Health Center. This is the facility that took care of the immediate victims of the Pulse shooting. Nearly one hundred victims entered the facility. Banners and well-wishes and appreciation hang throughout the hallways. I wasn't sure what my reaction would be, as it was the first time I had ever entered the hospital. However, as I approached the main building, I was immediately taken over by emotions as to what the staff of this facility had accomplished and what it has meant to so many in our community.

I visited my friend for about an hour. He was aware of my presence, but was unable to really engage. That didn't bother me so much, nor did the knowledge that this may be the last time that I get a chance to say, “Hello.”

After visiting him, I drove south on Orange Avenue for the first time to drive past the Pulse Nightclub. I'm not sure why I hadn't visited before, but I knew that I needed to swing by given I was less than a few blocks away. I didn't park. I didn't go and visit. I simply drove by. Admittedly, it was really all I could take at this time. As I mentioned above, Monday marks the three-month anniversary since the shooting. Today, marks the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in New York city and Washington DC.

I'm tired. I'm tired of having so many, “Never forgets,” of which I need to keep track. I'm tired of all the life lost due to hate, religious beliefs, and anguish. I'm sad, hurt, tired, upset at what we have become as a society. Throughout today, there have been many tributes to those who lost their lives during the September 11th attacks. This is all rightfully so. Currently, there has been dialogue on, “black lives matter,” and the decision of several NFL football players to not stand or salute the American flag during the recitation of our national anthem.

Our country is torn. In the midst of a national election for our next president, of which both candidates are both equally despised and loved, we are divided. And frankly, I don't know what to do next.

I have cried multiple times today.  I started the day with yoga and the hopes of clearing my mind, and it did help to some degree. I chatted with friends online, both domestic and abroad, and found myself lost and unsure of what the next day will bring or what the next challenge will present.

I don't want to remember any more lives lost in the call of hate bigotry, religious propaganda, or just plain intolerance. Enough is enough. Love is Love Is Love. We, as a society, community, nation, and civilization must overcome the trials and tribulations that have been put forward to us. It is not enough for us to simply stand by and watch what happens. We must be part of what we can change, evolve, and motivate our society to move past the hurt, anger, hate, and fear. We are better than this. We must be better than this.

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9/11, Never forget, Pulse shooting, September 11,