Unity and Solace for Orlando Victims (Culture and Community)
When tragic events happen, we witness the detestation that is alive in our world. We hear and see so much negativity on television/radio in regards to race, gender and religion, even political preference is a cause for violence. Injustices are aired across social media like wildfire to try and somewhat unify people to step up and stop hate crimes, police brutality, rape, victimization on all levels…the list goes on. What we don’t always get privy to witness is the widespread affect it has on everyone including those in our own neighborhoods, unless aired by a major syndicated TV channel, whose standards of “good news” isn’t always good. While the talk on the squawk box has been rapid and raw with coverage over our nations latest tragedy in Orlando, FL., we only get the tidbits of positives that are happening throughout the country, thus I am here to share a bit of community and beauty from the little city of West Sacramento.
On my way into town I crossed the corner that hugs the entrance to the South River Road Bridge to see a monument strategically placed with flags representing the U.S.A. with an addition, the Rainbow Flag. I have seen this solemn act of silent public display before uniting peace, understanding and support after 9/11 within the same grounds. I wondered, was this the same people whom display the memorial for the victims of 9/11?
I stopped to capture the magnificence of the gesture. As soon as I parked, I witnessed a couple holding each other, hugging, crying on each other’s shoulders. Walking through the entrance to witness the mass statement being made, the pride and hope I have for my fellow humans, hit home within a few steps. I watched as kids moved around the poles while their parents looked up to the flags with heavy hearts.
After taking it all in, I spoke with the man and his family whom created this unique display of unity.
John, along with his wife and two sons, have contributed to this community via their 9/11 memorial for over fifteen years. His display of flags that combine the realities of our nation, the lives lost to senseless acts of terror but also brings a sense of peace and solidarity, has left an enormous impact on the people of West Sacramento and our neighboring cities. I chatted with John, the mastermind behind this display, for a bit and what he shared brought me so much joy.
A resident of West Sacramento for twenty three years, John wanted to create a space for those whom needed to morn, more specifically after 9/11. He explained that when something tragic happens, people need an outlet, a place to be silent and grieve. The tribute is more than just emotion, it’s brining a community together to ignite solace and love. The memorial is an example of our worldly realities and letting people know that they are not alone. And he is right, no one is alone in this, we are all affected on some level or another. Choose to act lovingly toward one another, our world needs it.
If you are looking to contribute to the victims, please donate here –> GoFundMe-Orlando