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A single candle glimmers
A faintly flickering light
To dispel the ghost of hatred
On that shattered, dreadful night

But that light is not alone
As other lights join in
Hoping their glorious brilliance proves
That love and peace will win

A survivor holds a candle
And blinks so not to cry
And in a whispered voice asks
Why so many had to die

An advocate steps forward
Grief etched on his face
Have all his years of sorrow
Simply gone to waste?

And now a first responder
The images still clear
Of grief and blood and horror
Interspersed with pain and fear

And a medical student wonders
From a thousand miles away
With a city torn asunder
What words are there to say?

To help to ease the sorrow
To help to heal the pain
In a time of desperate tragedy
To make a city whole again.

And then she sees the candles
And hears the stories of her peers
Of doctors and paramedics
Who put aside their fears

To save a life today
To save another and another
A son, a friend, a companion
A lover, and a mother

And at this time of sadness
She lifts a light in turn
And whispers to her classmates
“This is why we learn.”

The University of Central Florida College of Medicine is located 20 miles from PULSE nightclub in Orlando, FL. This poem is dedicated to the victims, survivors and their families and to this beautiful community that will forever be #OrlandoStrong.

Allyson Brown (6 Posts)


University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Allyson is a first year medical student at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, FL. She graduated in 2012 from the University of Southern California with a degree in neuroscience. She is interested in pursuing a career in pediatric critical care or emergency medicine. Outside of school, Allyson enjoys photography and anything chocolate. Fall weekends find her loudly cheering on her alma mater’s football team.