I never met any of the people listed below.
I have a “six degrees of separation” connection (2 degrees) to at least one of them.
On any given day, I might have been one of these people. So might have you.
All of these humans, simply having a carefree night hanging out with friends and family to escape the grind.
All of these lives cut short by a fellow human born without a soul and nothing but evil surging through his veins.
My stomach has been in knots since I first heard about what happened. I then learned about some connections that brought the incident closer to home. As newer and newer details emerge, they continually morph into sheer horror. I am numbed, but at the same time, filled with anger, sadness, empathy, concern, and disbelief.
I’m a helper at heart, and there is nothing I can physically do to help in this terrible situation. At all. Nothing.
But I can remember each of these fellow humans, and learn about every one of them. I can love them all, even though I never met them. I can ask for strength for those who lost their daughter, son, parent, grandson, granddaughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, cousin, friend, roommate, classmate, teammate, coworker, colleague, and/or fellow human. And I can love each of them, too.
I can be compassionate and kind, and try to cultivate humanity by not remaining passive and silent.
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz 24 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
The world is violent and mercurial – it will have its way with you. We are saved only by love – love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share: being a parent; being a writer; being a painter; being a friend. We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love. – Tennesee Williams