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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Community comes together to support Orlando victims

More than 100 community members gathered outside Stuart High School June 20 for an aerial photo shoot to express solidarity with the families, victims, and first responders in Orlando, Fla., affected by the massacre at the Pulse nightclub.

The crowd waves to the helicopter.
Forty-nine people were killed June 12 by a shooter who claimed ties to ISIS. It was the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The photo event at Stuart event was organized by PFC Kathleen O’Leary, crime prevention officer at the Mason Police District.

Local residents of all ages lined up front of the school, some with American flags and rainbow banners, as photos were taken from a police helicopter hovering overhead. A large contingent of Fairfax County police officers and firefighters – from the Annandale and Seven Corners fire stations – participated, too.

Annandale resident David Holland said he came because he “wanted to show that when we’re united, we’re stronger than when we’re divided.”

Elaine Wiggins, also of Annandale, came to show support for law enforcement efforts in Orlando. “They did what they thought was right. We’re just finding out now the shooter had a car full of explosives,” she said.

Elizabeth Squire, a student at Glasgow Middle School was there to express support for the LGBT community. Her mother, Anne Squire, said, “it’s really nice for the community to come together and support another community in a difficult time.”

“I’m here to show solidarity with Orlando and express our sorrow and our hope that nothing like this ever happens again,” said Mason District school board member Sandy Evans. “Love and caring can overcome hatred.”


  1. NICE! Its too bad the country has to rally around death, but hopefully, it will give birth to change that will stop the violence in the world and unify us as a humanity.

  2. I was there. It was a great moment; I only wish more community members could've been there.

  3. A nice gesture, but it won't bring anybody back. May their loved ones find solace.