It was speech in front of hundreds of people that one mother never thought she’d have to make. Fighting through tears, and getting encouragement from the crowd, Mayra Alvear found the strength to talk about her 25-year-old daughter Amanda Alvear who was killed just five days earlier, by crazed gunman.
“It’s hard. They were our baby girls,” Alvear said. “I don't want this to go in vain. We have to change the world. We have to heal the world. It’s love, not hate. Why are there some people that choose to stay ignorant?”
Amanda’s last moments in life were recorded in a Snapchat she was sending to friends. The nursing student just about to leave Pulse in Orlando when the place, many called their only sanctuary, turned into a war zone. Loud pops can be heard on the video, then it ends. Amanda and her best friend Mercedez Flores, 26, didn’t make it out of the night club alive.
Nearly a thousand people gathered at Regional Northeast Park in Davenport. They sang songs, laughed, cried, and remembered two women who had so much promise, and their entire lives ahead of them.
Mercedez's father telling the crowd not to have hate in their hearts for the shooter, saying in Spanish he forgives the killer because he won’t let the gunman consume his heart with hate.
Amandar wanted to be a nurse. Mercedez wanted to be an event planner in New York City. Family members say they went everywhere together, and were inseparable. Knowing they died together gave some family members comfort.
But, for Mayra Alvear, the time has come for a change. Her first step to make that change was to hand President Barack Obama a letter.
“I wish that he reads it and that he shows the world that letter,” Mayra Alvear said.