It’s been three days since the attack on Pulse Orlando. Forty-nine of our friends and neighbors have been killed, and over 50 more have been injured. We are still shocked, saddened, and angry to the point of tears. Not to mention this was the second senseless act of gun violence this past weekend. Acts like these are not the “norm” here, and they should and will not be the “norm” anywhere else if we have anything to say about it.
Orlando’s response to Sunday’s hateful act of terrorism? LOVE. Citizens of Central Florida are lining the streets, waiting in line for hours to donate blood, water, food, umbrellas, sunscreen, a hug – you name it. Local businesses of all sizes offer round the clock help to those caring for victims’ families and the survivors, local and federal law enforcement, medical personnel and for the staff at Pulse Orlando in every way possible. THIS is Orlando, and THIS has always been the heart of our Central Florida community.
THIS is #WhyWeLoveOrlando.
Such senseless acts of hate and violence should not be tolerated anywhere on Earth, and especially in our own backyards. Hearing stories of heroism from Pulse Orlando night club’s staff and patrons, seeing the names on the victim list grow, reading the social media streams from people in countries around the world… this worldwide call to love and action cannot be ignored.
Our community is hospitable and welcoming to all visitors, frequent or first time. We are known globally as the number one tourist destination IN THE WORLD. At a time such as this, we are showing the world what Orlando is REALLY about, no matter the county you live or who signs your paycheck. We will not allow these tragic events to define us nor stop us from living, working, and LOVING where we live.
For the past seven years, Central Florida Top 5’s heart has always been in and with our Central Florida community – and with that of our country and, yes, even our planet. This core philosophy is what made me fall hard for this website and [platonically] with our owner (and heart) Brian Wilson, who is a proud member of the LGBTQ community as are a few of our other writers.
Our entire writing team are of different ages and viewpoints, from different backgrounds, religions, languages… we have it. One thing we agree on, without a doubt; We are all as proud to be Central Floridians today as we’ve ever been, and this will never change.
You know why WE love Orlando. Why do YOU? Locals respond:
Because it has the best literary and arts community in the country! #WhyWeLoveOrlando
— Karen Price (@khossell) June 16, 2016
— Colleen Burns (@Colleeni) June 16, 2016
#WhyWeLoveOrlando Kennedy Space Center. NSB. Cocoa Beach. Epcot. Daytona 500. Arnold Palmer Invitational, restaurant row. Pointe Orlando.
— John Brown (@Fox35John) June 16, 2016
#WhyWeLoveOrlando Variety of dining American (southern & northern), Japanese, Chinese, Tai, Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, etc.
— Mary James (@Mary_A_James) June 16, 2016
— Lyn Dowling (@lyn_dowling) June 16, 2016
More natural beauty and history than you know about and amazing food are a few reasons #WhyWeLoveOrlando
— Brooke Fehr (@bebefehr) June 16, 2016
Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, Sea World, The Orlando Eye, Orlando City Soccer and the nightlife #WhyWeLoveOrlando
— DebonairOne (@theDEBONAIRone) June 16, 2016
#WhyWeLoveOrlando Community.It's a large city that feels like a small town. We care about each other.
— StoriAnne92 (@storiwoodstock) June 16, 2016
— Web Benefits Design (@WBDCorp) June 16, 2016
— Rita Technology Svcs (@RitaTechnology) June 16, 2016
— Betsy Brantner Smith (@sgtbetsysmith) June 16, 2016