The last 48 hours has been rather bittersweet – filled with some incredible highs – only to be met with the lowest of lows. Yesterday was the 59th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade here in New York City. This special parade is where you’ll find a sea of Puerto Ricans (and some New Yorkers who like to celebrate no matter the origin) bust out their flags and walk down 5th Avenue with the upmost of pride. “Hamilton” star and creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda was named one of the parade’s ambassadors, but unfortunately, couldn’t attend as it fell on the same day as the 2016 Tony Awards. The young starlet who keeps breaking records, won last night 11 awards out of the 16 nominations. He’d also go on to steal the entire show with his acceptance speech for his win of Best Original Score. Not only would Lin dedicate this prestigious award to his lovely wife Vanessa, but also to those affected post yesterday’s horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida.

News organizations kept calling it the “deadliest of shootings in all of U.S. history.” This horrendous tragedy took place early Sunday morning at a popular nightclub called “Pulse.” “Pulse,” an LGBTQ friendly nightclub, was in the middle of celebrating Pride month when this heinous act took place. A crazed gunman named Omar Mateen, a man who reportedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS before the attack, had been placed on a terrorist watch list, and had undergone two FBI investigations, was able to legally purchase a long gun and a handgun – no questions asked. He killed 50 patrons and injured at least 53.

Now, post aftermath, thousands are scrambling (much like the 9/11 attacks) to find their loved ones. One family in particular learned that their son Enrique Rios, 25 (a native Brooklynite) had tragically died the night of the shooting. His loved ones are now trying their best to bring his body home for a proper burial. Rios’ mother Gertrude Merced, 47, extended a plea for help on the popular crowd-funding site to help bring her son back home. Other companies are also pitching in to help those affected. JetBlue Airlines is extending an offer for free travel to and from Orlando for immediate family members and/or domestic partners of those affected. For more info, call 1-800-538-2583. Care Team Members will also be deployed in Orlando to support those traveling.

We here at would like to offer our most heartfelt of condolences to all those affected by this vicious act of hate. And as we close this post, we leave you with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s speech/sonnet from last night’s Tony win:

“My wife’s the reason anything gets done; she nudges me towards promise by degrees; she is a perfect symphony of one; our son is her most beautiful reprise. We chase the melodies that seem to find us until they’re finished songs and start to play when senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day. This show is proof that history remembers we lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger; we rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer and love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story…now fill the world with music, love and pride.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda


Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

Leave a Comment