Posted in Out and About in Orlando, Overcoming Adversity


Today has been a a solemn day from the moment I woke up till now.The joy and overall happiness that surrounds me in the City Beautiful has been sucked away due to ignorance and stupidity that is ISIS.

Last night, 49 people died and 53 more were injured at a LGBT night club in Downtown Orlando. That’s 102 people I call my neighbors. Although as of now, I have never met them, as I am still waiting for the list to be shared. So far, I know a few people who have had loved ones who were injured. And to me, that hits too close to home.

This is the place where I ran from this nonsense so I can feel safe. This should be a place where magic can happen, a dream destination brought down by tragedy. A senseless act of violence on people who didn’t deserve this.

This has been day two of random attacks in this area. The other day brought on the death of Christina Grimmie, YouTube star and former contestant on The Voice, after a concert. Although the two incidents don’t seem to be related right now, it seems apparent that this country needs help. In fact, the world needs help.

When did we as a human race sink down to the level of wild creatures, killing others for the most obscure reasons? I take that back, even wild creatures don’t kill unless it’s a purpose.

We have become this horrible world where war is based on differences in skin color, creed, religon, sexual orientation, and even disability. Everyone just doesn’t see the good in their fellow man, and it’s gut wrenching to say the least.

It’s even more scary to know I am in the epicenter of something where terrorism lives and thrives. Never in my wildest dreams have I thought this would be something I would wittness first hand. Although I wasn’t there for either attack, I can still feel everyone’s heart break. I can still feel the fear in many, as well as myself. Since I work in a very popular attraction, I fear for my fellow cast members and myself, who knows what will play out in the coming days?

Something like this should have never happened. None of this should ever be something that greets you as you watch the morning news.

I pray and send my condolences for my 102 neighbors and the many who knew them. I pray you all find strength and the power to overcome this despite the circumstance. I pray one day, we will look at our fellow brothers and sisters and embrace one another and appreciate them for who they are.

Orlando will always be The City Beautiful, and together we shall overcome.

God bless,

Mandy Ree


UPDATE– This piece was updated due to the victim count being dropped by one a few days ago. Everyone knows who that one is, and for their attack toward man kind, they shall never be mentioned again. We remember the 49 dead and the 53 injured. My 102 neighbors I am just sadly getting to know by tributes, news stories, and obituaries. Embrace the differences in all people.


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