ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Orange County decided to go ahead with a scheduled County Commission meeting Tuesday, just three days after the worst terror attack in the US since 9/11, but with an abbreviated schedule. It was clear right from the start it would be an unusual meeting.
Pastor Coleman Pratt gave a lengthy invocation that began with 49 seconds of silence for the dead, followed by 53 seconds of silence for the injured with only the words "Lord have mercy on us" in between.
Mayor Teresa Jacobs addressed the attacks immediately following the Pledge of Allegiance by thanking all of the first responders and the entire community for the help they have given since early Sunday morning.
“It’s very clear we have a community that cares deeply.”
She began to lose it when she spoke of the people that were out at the Pulse night club when terror struck, breaking up as she talked about the people that escaped, then risked their lives to go back inside.
“We are forever grateful to everyone who stepped in.”
The tears flowed as Mayor Teresa Jacobs reached out to embrace the LBGT community, a group she has opposed on some issues in the past. She spoke of the power of the vigil held at the Dr. Phillips Center honoring the dead.
“The people that were there last night were not just members of our LBGT community. They were my sons, they were my friends”
The extended hand to the LGBT community was very emotional for the Mayor, and very emotional for that community as well. Several mentioned to Fox 35 how they believed it, and were grateful for the step.