As difficult as it is, I think one of the most important things about the horrific shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando is to never forget that it happened, no matter how much time might pass or what else may be happening in the world. That's why I'm so grateful for the clips of the survivors from MTV's True Life: We Are Orlando , which will air in full on Aug. 15. Until the full episode airs, we get the opportunity to meet the people most closely affected by this tragedy in the form of video vignettes. Two have been released already, and now we have a third exclusive clip, this one featuring Patience Carter and Tiara Parker.
The two young women are survivors of the Jun. 12 massacre. They're from Philadelphia, and they were on vacation in Florida with Tiara's cousin, Akyra at the time. And, according to MTV, their experience is just terrifying: the three of them hid in the bathroom and were locked inside, "face-to-face with the shooter for hours." Now, in the clip, they are trying to find out what happened to Akyra by Skyping with a man named Richard who was with them in the bathroom. Understandably, this is the first time they've reached out to him in the time since the attack.
We see Patience and Tiara looking to Richard for answers, hoping to get some information about their cousin's last moments. Even though Richard encountered Tiara's cousin alive, and the other two women ultimately escaped Pulse through the hole police formed in the wall, Akyra Murray tragically did not survive the attack. At just 18 years old, she was the club shooting's youngest victim. Hearing the people who knew her for her whole life look for answers from the person who was with her close to the end of it really drives home the enormity of the loss. It's so heartbreaking to watch this clip, but it's also important to watch it, too.
It fleshes out my idea of the person Akyra Murray was, which I believe is the point of the whole True Life: We Are Orlando episode. The episode will help us think of the victims not just as statistics, but as human beings. It will help to remind us of all the heroes of that night who did so much good amidst so much evil. It's a really important event in our nation's history, and this clip is just one small way in which those of us who were not there can begin to even process the tragedy.