Orlando community finds hope after Pulse nightclub tragedy

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.

STORIES OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON

BACK TO TOP STORIES

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s