After Orlando atrocity, take time to mourn with those that mourn

by Boyd Matheson
by Boyd Matheson

By Boyd Matheson

A senseless and barbaric act of terror has brought the world not just to an Orlando nightclub, but to the crossroads of a vital dialogue on who we are and what we will become as Americans and as a nation. In the aftermath of such a tragic loss of life we have all been left to question how this could happen, why the innocent suffer and what will be done to prevent such horrors from happening in the future.

In our fast-forward world, with instant access to information, there is a rush to analyze, debate and prescribe what should come next. Unfortunately, strident voices on all sides of the underlying issues race to grab the national microphone. Many will beg for a ban on guns or religious groups, others will plead for isolationist immigration policies, some will call for restrictions on speech and the internet, some will want a ramping up of the war on terror, others will seek a crackdown on hate crimes against the LGBT community, and still others will seek more government surveillance in our public spaces. There will be a day to debate our differences and possible solutions – but today is not that day.

Before we set out on such critical conversation we should first recognize and loudly proclaim, “This is not who we are as Americans.” And then we should pause, be still and be moved by the power that comes from truly mourning, together, as Americans.

Russell D. Moore wisely said, “What I wonder is whether the country still has the capacity to grieve, together, in moments of national crisis. … The time of lament morphs almost immediately into arguments.”

Our instant political posturing prevents us from mourning with those who mourn and weeping with those who weep.

The Sutherland Institute team invites you to join us and mourn with those that mourn and weep with those that weep. We lament the lives of those we lost and pray for the families and friends who are left to live and carry on without them.

We hope that the better angels of our nature will be awakened and inspired by those who died, by those who survived but who suffer physical and emotional pain, and by those who heroically ran into harm’s way.

Grieving endures for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Each of us should make time to mourn and weep and grieve with the nation. Then, we must work together to bring that bright morning to America by doing something for those we love and by reaching out to our fellow Americans and fellow travelers along the road of life.

Remember, we honor best those who have gone before by being our best, giving our best and communicating our best – today. That is who we are as Americans! May our words, our discussions and our deeds loudly to proclaim it – not only to our foes, but to our friends!

These are the victims of the Orlando shooting who lost their lives:

  • Edward Sotomayor Jr.,
  • Stanley Almodovar III,
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo,
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero,
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera,
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz,
  • Luis S. Vielma,
  • Kimberly Morris,
  • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice,
  • Darryl Roman Burt II,
  • Deonka Deidra Drayton,
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez,
  • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla,
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez,
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez,
  • Amanda Alvear,
  • Martin Benitez Torres,
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon,
  • Mercedez Marisol Flores,
  • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado,
  • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez,
  • Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez,
  • Oscar A. Aracena-Montero,
  • Enrique L. Rios Jr.,
  • Miguel Angel Honorato,
  • Javier Jorge-Reyes,
  • Joel Rayon Paniagua,
  • Jason Benjamin Josaphat,
  • Cory James Connell,
  • Luis Daniel Conde,
  • Shane Evan Tomlinson,
  • Juan Chevez-Martinez,
  • Jerald Arthur Wright,
  • Leroy Valentin Fernandez,
  • Tevin Eugene Crosby,
  • Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega,
  • Jean C. Nives Rodriguez,
  • Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala,
  • Brenda Lee Marquez McCool,
  • Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan,
  • Christopher Andrew Leinonen,
  • Angel L. Candelario-Padro,
  • Frank Hernandez,
  • Paul Terrell Henry,
  • Antonio Davon Brown,
  • Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz,
  • Akyra Monet Murray,
  • Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez


Boyd Matheson is president of Sutherland Institute.

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