ORLANDO, Florida (WFLA) – For Kathryn Gauger, it was a day of hope and healing amidst grief. Monday represented for her a new sense of purpose and a new beginning.
As Kathy stood shoulder to shoulder with thousands in downtown Orlando Monday night, she received hug after hug after hug. For this 24-year-old, it was more than a moment of healing, more than a sense of support.
For her, each hug was symbolic. It confirmed her purpose in this world.
“You can’t really put into words what this is. I can feel it all the way in my toes,” she said through tears.
Her life, she tells us, was spared for one reason or year ago – to be here for others.
For Kathryn, June 12, 2016 will forever bring about powerful and chilling emotions. It was on this day she had plans to celebrate a friend’s birthday at Pulse nightclub.
Instead, she declined at the last minute and decided not to go. It would be a decision that would change the course of her life.
“It’s humbling, sobering, surreal. It doesn’t feel real, honestly.”
As the community came together at a prayer service at Lake Eola, there was an intense feeling of support and solidarity where those attending could feel the love in the air.
A moment in history born of cruelty and hate would ultimately be the story of kindness and compassion.
And, for Kathryn, this day means a new life.
“It’s incredible. Love will always trump hate,” she said.
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