My wife is looking at the faces of the victims.
I never want to look at the faces.
Colorado, Sandy Hook, Orlando.
I don’t want to look at the faces.
I listen to their stories even when I don’t look at their faces.
The stories stay with me.
On NPR they play clips, the sound of gunfire.
Each crack of gunfire is real.
Each crack of gunfire in the moment that this is recorded, is finding a target.
I listen to the stories.
The stories inspire me.
It reminds me to speak out.
I am a realistic optimist.
I believe that those young men and women died in vain.
They did not march out as activists, they were slaughtered in the midst of celebration.
I also believe that things of importance can still be created in the wake of their deaths.
A line of people stretch around the block in Orlando to give blood.
We must hold the stories of these young men and women close to us.
We must cradle them in our arms.
We must be inspired by their stories
As a group and as individuals to see each of them
As we see ourselves
I’m looking at the faces now because I know it’s important
It’s important to have a face to hold a story
Stanley Manlo Almadover III – who could change a bad mood simply by walking into the room
Juan Ramon Guerrero – a loving uncle to his niece and nephew who had just started college
Luis Velma – adjusting a bow tie and who lives on in his friend as “part of any good decision I will ever make”
So many others
A passionate dancer
A young woman who wanted to become a nurse
A young couple who just bought a house
A good son
Mommy I love you in the club they shooting
I reach out with them
I reach out with their stories to the communities most likely to be hurt.
We must reach out with love to the homosexual community.
We must reach out with love to the Latin community
We must reach out with love to the Muslim community
We must reach out with love to our own communities who ever the people in those communities may be
Each and every one.
Homosexual. Heterosexual. Latin. White. Black. Indian. Middle-Eastern. Asian.
Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, Hindu, Jewish, Spiritual,
Let us celebrate their stories with love.
Knowing that even their deaths
will not stop them from dancing in celebration
If we can embrace them and all of our communities