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The world mourns with Orlando after the devastating nightclub massacre — the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history — that took place early Sunday morning.
And as politicians, celebrities and even the royal family offer words of support, the city in Central Florida is finding messages of love and hope coming from its lifeblood: theme parks. Indeed, people photographed at venues around the world are showing the "Theme Park Capital of the World" — home to Disney World, Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, among others — that they stand in solidarity with the city.
The movement started when Orlando-based Kevin O'Brien started collecting images on his Facebook page of theme park characters and workers sending supportive messages to the city. Eventually, people started sending them from all over the world.
"Still just two words, 'just overwhelmed'!" O'Brien wrote on his Facebook page. "I really didn't expect anything from this. But this, WOW! My heart and prayers go out to the loved ones." TODAY reached out to O'Brien for comment, but hasn't yet heard back.
The images feature people at theme parks across the globe making hearts with their hands to show their love and support for Orlando. From Peter Pan and the Lion King, to Mickey and Minnie, these workers want to make sure no one in Orlando feels alone.
"This is family. We are one, strong band of people. From entertainment, costuming, techs, attractions, merchandise, custodial, and all other depts," wrote O'Brien. "Show that there is love out there!"
Times of heartbreaking tragedy test our faith in humanity, but as Walt Disney himself once said, in a 1962 interview: "You are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil."