We are Orlando. Our headquarters are located in Orlando. Our employees raise their families in Orlando. We forge friendships with our neighbors and fellow citizens. Our business is to assist people from all over the country realize their dreams of visiting the magic makers at the theme parks.
On June 12th, one of those magic makers was ripped untimely from this world.
Luis Vielma was an employee of Universal Orlando, and a ride operator at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. He was raised by his family in Orlando. He went to school in Orlando with his friends. He worked in Orlando with his colleagues where he greeted guests from all over the world.
He will be deeply missed and mourned by the entire world.
Luis was killed because of who he was and whom he loved. We choose to remember him for precisely those same reasons.
Much like the members of Gryffindor in the novels of Harry Potter, Luis exemplified bravery. His friends are undoubtedly proud of the example he has set for them.
Today, sir, we raise our wands in your honor and pray that evil is soon vanquished from this world.
Our hearts are heavy, and our condolences go out to Luis’s family, friends and co-workers; as they do to all of the loved ones of all the lights extinguished far too soon at Pulse.
There are too many other victims to bear. Too many other stories to tell before the sadness chokes off our voices. And after we cry, after we’ve exhausted our feelings, we must tell those stories some more.
There will be stories to tell about other conjurers of magic and makers of myth. There will be stories about sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, fathers and mothers, friends and lovers, husbands and wives.
We must tell those stories no matter the pain, because to stop is to forget. And we must never forget. We must not forget that Orlando is a home. It is a home to those who live here and the millions that visit here.
Orlando is our home. We are all Orlando.