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How do they do what they do?

It’s a bad time to work for the Orlando chamber of commerce. The fantasy world created there by Disney World, Epcot, Universal et. al. was harshly welcomed back to reality by a sickening series of events over the past week. First, singer Christina Grimmi was shot down at a meet-and-greet session after a performance June 11. The killer, Kevin James Loibl, shot himself after he was tackled by the singer’s brother. No one knows why he did what he did. Just a random sicko of which we seem to have an abundance. Early the following morning, a radical Muslim went all jihadi and took an AR-15 and a Glock into a gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people and wounded at least 53 others in what they call the worst mass shooting on American soil. This representative of the ‘˜religion of peace’, Omar Mateen, walked through the club firing shots into fallen victims to make sure they were dead. Thank God the cops shot him down like the pig he was. Can you imagine the media circus surrounding that trial and the bleeding hearts who would have flocked to his defense? Then on June 14, a two-yearold boy was grabbed by an alligator and dragged off into a lagoon at a Disney property. Both his father and mother tried to save him but could not. They went to Disney with their two kids from Nebraska for a vacation that turned into an unimaginable nightmare. While I grieve for the victims in all these cases, I do not grieve for the two killers. I believe both Loibl and Mateen are in very warm climates and the virgins Mateen was promised by his Imam are in very short supply there. I have found myself thinking the most about those who have to respond to these scenes. Police risked death at the nightclub to rescue those hiding inside and I have nothing but the highest respect for their individual and collective valor but I feel more for those who had to work the scenes. Somebody had to recover the bodies of Grimmie and her killer and do autopsies on them. Crime scene investigators had to enter that nightclub, document the location of each body, take multiple photographs then remove the bodies for autopsies. They had to mark the location of each spent cartridge, document its location and take more photographs. I read an interview with one such CSI specialist who noted that most crime scenes are quiet. At the Pulse, however, the horror was punctuated by the constant ringing of the cellphones of victims as loved ones tried in vain to reach them. Consider also the scene at the trauma center at Orlando Regional Medical Center where the shooting victims were taken. Doctors and nurses there described it as a war zone. Nine victims died. A frantic, heroic effort by the medical staff there saved many others. Even at the lagoon where the child was taken off by the alligator, experts had to go in, shoot alligators and gut them looking for the child’s remains. I don’t know how these people do what they do, how they mask their emotions or deal with the images that surely are seared into their brains forever. But, I am glad they do it. I have found myself praying at length for them. Perhaps, you should, too. Walter Geiger is publisher of The Herald Gazette. He can be reached at

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