This past Sunday, June 12th, there was an attack on my city. Orlando, Florida.

One of the victims, my friend, Cory Connell, was going to be a firefighter, we graduated from the same high school. This man was someone that really cared about other people. You could sense it just by talking to him for 5 minutes. This is the guy that would help in any way he could and in the best way he knew how.

It has been said, that night, he protected his girlfriend during the attack. This I  believe wholeheartedly. That’s just the kind of guy he is.


Cory was a great person, and an even greater American who was prepared to put himself in harms way to help others and will be missed by friends, family and now, the entire community as he was deemed an Honorary Firefighter by Orange County Fire Rescue.

Now, the media and Internet have spun this story out of control with irrelevant information and satirical jokes.

I won’t provide examples of the horrible things that have surfaced online. I’m sure we have all seen more than enough. One thing I do want to address though is, we have seen our own people, Americans, say these terrible things.

Regardless of who you are and what God you believe in, or don’t  believe in, you must realize that the only thing that matters here is that someone is trying to destroy the American people and, instead of everyone uniting and saying to that someone “we will not fall”, we, as Americans, fight amongst ourselves over the irrelevant.

Here all the information we need to know.

On this day, 49 of our fellow AMERICANS were killed in a horrific act of terrorism.

The shooter did not care about the orientation, religion, race, or gender of the people he was attacking.

So WHY should we?

The victims of this tragedy were American people and should be treated as such. This is the only fact that should mean anything to us but instead we fight with each other over the trivial details repetitively provided by the media.

This act of terrorism really happened. This was not staged. 49 people are really dead, my friend is really dead, dozens more have had their lives changed forever due to their injuries and thousands more mourn across the nation for loves ones.

Against terrorism, Americans should not fight amongst each other. We should stand tall, and remain United.

It seems we have all forgotten the maxim, “United we stand, Divided we fall.”, we must work together at times like this, not spread animosity toward one another.

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

Sadly this list does not include survivors but, we should stand with them as well.

If you would like to help the families of those we lost and the survivors please visit the link below,

Go fund me :

Cast aside the things that make each of us unique for a moment and focus on what it means to be an American. Let’s start by reigniting this maxim of “United we stand, Divided we fall.”

Many recent reports have stated Orlando residence are now arming themselves more than ever before. This means nothing if, as Americans, we are still divided amongst ourselves. We have to work together. This is our community we are talking about.

If you take nothing else from reading this, remember that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. In the right hand, used safely and responsibly, these tools can be used to protect the people we love.

This message is not just for Orlando, it is for the entire nation.

I encourage everyone to stay #OrlandoStrong #CoryStrong #OrlandoUnited #AmericansUnited


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