Even amid a year that had more than its fair share of violence and tragedy, the atrocity that unfolded at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in June was at a different level.
The nightclub, which catered to a gay clientele, was attacked by Omar Matteen, a 29-year old armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a semi-automatic pistol.
Matteen killed 49 people, the worst mass shooting in recent America history. Shortly after the shooting began, Matteen made a 911 call in which he swore allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He was eventually killed at the scene by law enforcement.
President Obama described the attack as an “act of terror and an act of hate.” Donald Trump was widely criticized for a tweet in the immediate aftermath that began, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” The sheer horror of what happened in Orlando will be remembered long after the political back-and-forth is forgotten.