On Sunday morning, America was crippled by the deadliest attack on its soil since 9/11. A lone gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 innocent people and wounding 53 others.
The amount of support from around the world has been astounding. From Belgium to Tel Aviv, countries throughout the world stood in solidarity with Orlando. Many world landmarks and bridges lit up with the rainbow pride colors to show support for the victims. The spire on One World Trade Center in New York City, Tel Aviv City Hall, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Michael Fowler Centre, the Omni Hotel in Nashville, the Orlando Eye and the Eiffel Tower were just a handful of the landmarks lit up to support Orlando. Vigils were held in many countries across the world to honor the victims of the tragedy.
Many world leaders took to social media to express their condolences as well. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and French President Francois Hollande both tweeted out their sympathies after each of their countries had been stunned with their own acts of terrorism in the past seven months. Also expressing their condolences were the Prime Minister of the UK, the Mayor of London, the Prime Minister of Norway, the President of Israel, the President of Afghanistan and the President of Mexico.
Americans have really come together following this tragedy. There has been an outpouring of support for Orlando on social media; Facebook now has a filter that can be put on your profile picture to show your support. Countless pictures have been floating around the internet with messages of condolence, the rainbow pride colors as well as the the colors of the American Flag.
Hundreds of people lined up outside of OneBlood in Orlando on Sunday morning to donate blood to the victims. They are now at capacity and are asking those that want to donate blood to make an appointment to come in in the next few days. A spokesman for OneBlood said that he has never seen a response like this before.
OneBlood is still in need of O-negative, O-positive and AB plasma.
Comfort dogs are being sent out of Chicago to visit Orlando to help console the victims. Nineteen handlers and 12 dogs will be sent down to Orlando until next Monday to work in local hospitals to comfort the victims and first responders injured in the attack. The dogs will be there for victims to talk to and to pet.
A GoFundMe page for victims and their families has been set up by Equality Florida, a local LGBT civil rights organization. As of Monday afternoon, $1.7 million has already been donated.
The outpouring of support from people around the world has created strength for America in this time of sadness. It is great to see people from all walks of life come together to support one another. #OrlandoUnited