Florida has played host to a week of tragic attacks ending with Father’s Day 2016, and hundreds turned out to protest the bear hunting season on the eve of the summer solstice. While grieving for and memorializing the many young men and women murdered in Pulse Orlando and campaigning for wildlife conservation are not the father’s day activities dads and families had in mind, Florida is sending a message to the world: Florida is strong, Florida will recover, Florida will not be broken. Conservationists echoed the sentiment of reason and strength by fighting against bear hunting, the season for which begins around the date of the summer solstice of 2016, tomorrow evening, despite still reeling from the death of a toddler at the hands of another Florida predator, the alligator.
Indeed, it was a week of terrible crimes, hateful attacks, and unspeakable grief for Floridians in their home state, with terror and tragedy reverberating throughout the world in the wake of Florida’s hellish string of events.
Last Friday, 10 June, songbird and YouTube sensation Christina Grimmie was shot and killed after a concert in Orlando, Florida. The attacker has since been identified as James Loibl, a man known to have been mentally ill, who later killed himself. Investigations continue into Loibl’s motive for murdering Grimmie, but it has become apparent that Loibl murdered the starlet due to a psychotic obsession. Loibl’s co-workers revealed he had even had plastic surgery to impress Grimmie at the Meet & Greet session following her Orlando, Florida, concert, where he opened fire, fatally injuring Grimmie, who later died from wounds in hospital.
Father’s Day is, undoubtedly, one of the hardest days yet for the murdered singer’s father, Bud. Speaking at a private ceremony where Christina was laid to rest, Bud Grimmie made a heartbreaking tribute ahead of Father’s Day 2016, reports CNN.
“The three things that keep me walking upright, otherwise I would just be a crumpled up mess in the corner, are that: I know I’m going to see her again … she’s way better off now, she’s more alive now than she’s ever been, she’s not going to be hurt anymore, and thirdly… God’s plan is better than my plan.”
Having shocked and dismayed the music industry and the Florida public alike before the weekend had even begun, it was not long before reports arose of a mass shooting in Pulse Nightclub, Orlando. Alleged closet homosexual and violent homophobe, Omar Mateen, opened fire with an automatic rifle at a crowded nightclub known to be a popular gay and LGBTQ hotspot.
By the time the dawn had emerged into daylight on Sunday morning, 49 people had been killed in the worst mass shooting — and largest-scale hate crime — in America and the West’s recent history. Forty-nine men and women were murdered in an act of extremist anti-LGBTQ terrorism in Orlando at Pulse nightclub. Forty-nine fathers now bereft of their sons or daughters, today forced to endure Father’s Day of 2016 crippled with grief and despair.
A third unspeakable blow was delivered on Wednesday when a toddler died after being taken by an alligator in Walt Disney World Resorts. Lane Graves, just 2-years-old, was dragged underwater after wading into a lagoon and killed by the predatory reptile with which Florida’s bayous are rife. Graves’ parents join the scores of others currently enduring the tragic death — on Father’s Day — of a son or daughter, replacing celebration with grief.
Indeed, Florida has played host to a week of tragic attacks ending with Father’s Day 2016, and hundreds turned out to protest the bear hunting season on the eve of the summer solstice. WFLA reports that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission called bear hunting an “atrocity” during the protest.
“[Florida FWCC] aims to outlaw hunting due to the road collisions and habitat loss by human expansion that already affect the species. FVA also estimates several hundred cubs will die without their mothers if they are hunted,” said their report.
[Photo by Altanaka/Shutterstock]