When Omar Mateen took the lives of49 people, and injured 53 others, in the Pulse night club in Orlando, the shock and grief was felt around the world. Memorials have been placed around the world as well, including one outside American embassy near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and like many other key world figures, the German government has offered up their own condolences.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier took to Twitter early Sunday morning to offer his support, saying “I am shocked by the murderous attack in Orlando. We mourn the victims. Our thoughts are with our friends in the USA”.
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) June 12, 2016
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also weighed in while making a visit to China with a message that tolerance must prevail. “Although such deadly attacks cause profound sadness in us, we are resolved to continue with our open and tolerant lifestyle.”
While joining in on a Ramadan dinner on Monday, German President Joachim Gauck offered his condolences to the Orlando victims while also warning that the attack shouldn’t be used to demonize all Muslims.
“Promoting encounters is particularly important at a time when mutual mistrust is spreading… and for some, the fear of Islamist terrorism has become a fear of Muslims,” Gauck said.
There is no denying that the actions that took place are devastating, and the world should never have to witness such terrible acts of violence. While it is appropriate to take a moment to grieve the loss of so many innocent victims, and the long-lasting injuries, both physically and mentally, we have to also stay strong. We must continue to stick together and show that our spirit cannot be broking by an act of terror. It is in these moments that we can show that an act of terror cannot break us, but instead can make us stronger.