Light One Candle

Snapped by a Photographer for the Digital Journal: http://www.digitaljournal.com/image/301783

Snapped by a Photographer for the Digital Journal: http://www.digitaljournal.com/image/301783

So Much Pain
So Much National Disgrace
How Do we get on now?

Clinging to one another.
I have been So Inspired by my fellow-Citizens on Planet Earth this past week.
People figuring out what to do.
How to write their CongressPersons
And Stop such easy Access to Weapons of War and Mass Destruction
With No BackGround Checks, No Waiting Periods…
People sharing information about to whom to write
And How
Email Addresses
Hard Copy Letter Addresses
PostCards
Whether or not it is OK to Write a Congressmen who is not of your District…

Such Tremendous Activity
Such a Great Coming Together
Such a Beautiful Sharing of Community.

Occupy DemocratsI too am devastated by this past week’s events.
This American Man who bought a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a Glock HandGun
Who walked into a Gay Club in which young people were dancing
And committed the Deadliest Shooting Massacre in US History.
The Largest Massacre of Puerto Rican People outside of Puerto Rico itself since the LOD Airport Massacre of 1972 in Tel Aviv.

The Victims of the Orlando Shooting June 12, 2016

The Victims of the Orlando Shooting June 12, 2016

Democratic Senators spent yesterday filibustering to attain more reasonable gun legislation.
MITCH MCCONNELL had disparaging things to say.
How much does the NRA pay you, MITCH?
CHRISTOPHER COX, the NRA Lobbying Director (That means he’s the guy who is paid a salary to illegally bribe your Government Representatives, to the tune of $2,996,513, to vote against the will of the people and to do what he says) railed on about “radical Islam.”
He failed to note that according to an FBI Study, 94% of terrorist attacks in the US between 1980 and 2005 were carried out by non-Muslims.

A Meme from the Internet

A Meme from the Internet

COX also blamed the OBAMA Administration for the Orlando Shootings.
COX would like your Children to read the new and updated fairy tales he publishes on the NRA Website:
https://www.nrafamily.org/articles/2016/1/13/little-red-riding-hood-has-a-gun/
in which problems are solved with guns.

Daily News Headline 6.13.16

Daily News Headline 6.13.16

JOHN MCCAIN jumped on the bandwagon saying that President OBAMA is “directly responsible” for the shootings in Orlando.
MCCAIN opposes bans on assault weapons and was one of Congress’ biggest supporters of the Iraq War which led directly to the creation of ISIS.
But he blames President OBAMA, who is currently in Orlando with the families of those lost.

Sudafed

A Tweet from Bryan Donaldson

In spite of these members of our Government who would rather throw around buzz words like “ISIS” and “Radical Islam,” to get you off track, this was a Hate Crime.
The Killer was homegrown.
He was raised here on American Soil in Our Neighborhoods,
Listening to the anti-Gay rhetoric of our Government Leaders,
Like Lt. Governor DAN PATRICK of Texas who tweeted, “You reap what you sow’ in response to the Deadliest Shooting Massacre in US History.
Do you think that’s OK, Mr. PATRICK?
The Killer, OMAR MATEEN, was failed by our American Education System.
He was failed by our Mental Health Care System.
We were all failed by the ridiculously lax Gun Laws in this Country,
And a man on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List being able to get an AR-15 style Rifle easier than a Driver’s License or a box of Sudafed.
This has nothing to do with “ISIS” and “Radical Islam.”
Not everything can be explained away that easily.
And our Government Representatives are not excused.
MITCH MCCONNELL, PAUL RYAN, JOHN MCCAIN,
You have blood on your hands, Sirs.
You too, CHRISTOPHER COX.

A Tweet reposted on FaceBook

Still, the People of this Country are coming together in the wake of Tragedy and those 49 Kids will not have died in vain.
The other 53 will not have been injured in vain.
Here we are, so desperate to help
To do Something.
But what can we do?

I went to the StoneWall Inn.
I went to see the Memorial
How we honored those fallen.
It was relatively quiet.
There were some 40 UN Diplomats who were meeting inside.
At one point, they came outside to take a photo.

Some forty UN Diplomats having their picture taken yesterday outside the StoneWall Inn

Some forty UN Diplomats having their picture taken yesterday outside the StoneWall Inn

It had rained a little bit that morning.
So many of the candles had gone out.
People who left them there had also been kind enough to leave matches so they could be relit.

Snapped for a Malaysian Paper, THE SUN http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1841749

Snapped for a Malaysian Paper, THE SUN http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1841749

I quietly dropped to my knees and began to empty the water that had filled the votives.
I began tenderly relighting the candles.
After a short while, a young gay man began doing the same at another corner of the memorial.
Then, two Hispanic Women followed suit, and began relighting the votives at the other side.

It wasn’t much.
I mean, in terms of all the world needs and all of the Healing required now, it felt like very little, honestly.

Getty Images 2016

Getty Images 2016

But by this evening, my small act of Love and tribute had been logged by Getty Images.
My hand had made it to News Websites in Canada and Malaysia.
My backpack was pulling on me, and I was somewhat uncomfortable,
But I knew that it was too early for these candles placed so Lovingly to have gone out,
And so caringly, patiently, I dumped the water from each votive and relit all that I could.

On the HighWay,with my friend ELENA, after 9/11, 2001

On the HighWay,with my friend ELENA, after 9/11, 2001

The Photographers from Getty Images did not know that the hand that was lighting the candles
Also held the tambourine standing on the Highway cheering on the Rescue Workers for months after 9/11.
And stood on the Great Lawn of the White House in Washington DC volunteering the first time the AIDS QUILT was displayed in its entirety the decade before.
And prior to that, had unrolled countless condoms onto countless bananas to demonstrate and train gay men in Safer Sex, volunteering at Universities and Community Centers around the country.
They did not know that this hand had held the hand of So Many as they lay dying,
Powerless to change it.
And even now, there was so little that could be done
Except to light one candle.

AIDS Quilt on the Great Lawn, 1996

AIDS Quilt on the Great Lawn, 1996

Volunteering at the AIDS QUILT on the Great Lawn of the White House, with my friend SHARE in 1996

Volunteering at the AIDS QUILT on the Great Lawn of the White House, with my friend SHARE in 1996

This World is filled with So many small acts of Love,
So many bold acts of Fighting against injustice and propaganda,
So many courageous Actions affecting Change,
So many People speaking out to their Elected Representatives and sharing information…

If all you can do is light one candle,
Then Light it!
Doesn’t matter if it isn’t yours.
Doesn’t matter if it was placed there by someone else
Or if it’s all wet from the rain.
Dump out the water and Light it Again.

It might seem an incomprehensibly small and insignificant act
But your hand, engaged in such action,
Could become a symbol of Hope and Coming Together
That reaches around the World.

Light Your Candle.
Reach Out.
Do what you can.

We are all one
And somehow,
Somewhere,
Someone who is suffering the pain of Loss
May be comforted by knowing what you did
For them
And with them
And in the names of those we’ve Lost.

While my hand can reach.
I shall light all of the Candles I possibly can
In the name of all that is Good
And Holy

Juan and Drew, two of the victims of the Orlando Massacre, killed by an American in a Hate Crime against Gay People

Juan and Drew, two of the victims of the Orlando Massacre, killed by an American in a Hate Crime against Gay People

I Love those Kids
They Danced
They Celebrated the Life they had
And now I celebrate the Life they gave us
As a Country
As a Community
As One People.

Now, let’s come together
And no matter how small it may seem,
Let us not judge it.
Let us simply Do what we Can.

If you want to know if your Congressional Representative is on the take from the NRA, please click here:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/nra-donations/

If you wish to contact your Members of Congress and make your voice heard, please click here:
http://www.contactingthecongress.org

If you wish to know about the victims of the Orlando Shooting, please click here:
https://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/orlando-shooting-victims?utm_term=.hnn6ovxGr#.knapgz1bn

If you wish to know how something like this could happen in America, please click here:
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/gop-blocks-bill-stop-terrorists-buying-guns

If you wish to read a brief New York Times Editorial about the above failure of Congress, please click here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/05/opinion/end-the-gun-epidemic-in-america.html?_r=0

To sign MoveOn’s Petition to Ban Assault Weapons now, please click here:
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-assault-weapons-now-4?source=homepage

To sign OrganizingForAction’s Petition to speak up for Gun Violence Prevention now, please click here:
https://www.barackobama.com/speak-up-for-gun-violence-prevention/?sp_ref=207389381.198.170448.f.538291.5&source=em_fb_gvp_20160616_x_x_js_sp

New Haven Register

New Haven Register

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3 Comments

  1. Rose Ann Harrigan

     /  June 17, 2016

    You have a beautiful hand, a beautiful heart, and a beautiful mind. God bless you always.

    Reply
  2. Michael Walters

     /  June 17, 2016

    Great work, Arnie!! xoxo

    >

    Reply
  3. dsbishop

     /  June 17, 2016

    Do what you can. As tears stream down my cheek, I am also reminded of Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s song about the butterfly. You each remind through your poetic words that no action is insignificant. Thank you for your passion, your eloquence, and your action. Truly inspiring, Arnold.

    Reply

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