Where do you stand when it matters most?

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference after a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference after a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

In an ironic twist, the same night and weekend that the late boxing legend, humanitarian and peace prophet Muhammad Ali was laid to rest following an interfaith ceremony and public displays of adoration, the nation was thrust into mourning due to acts of domestic terrorism.

Former “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimme, 22, was murdered after performing at a concert in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, June 10, by Kevin James Loibl, 27, who traveled from St. Petersburg with two guns. He killed himself after murdering Grimme. According to reports, he did not know Grimme. In the wee hours of Sunday, June 12, Omar Mateen, 29, of  Fort Pierce, a trained security guard, unleashed a fusillade of bullets on revelers at gay club Pulse, also in Orlando, killing 50 and injuring 53.

Grief-stricken shooting victims comfort each other as they try to cope with the trauma they experienced.

Grief-stricken shooting victims comfort each other as they try to cope with the trauma they experienced as a result of the massacre inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

As loved one flocked to the streets to learn the fate of the victims, elected officials took to the airwaves to share their views, extend condolences and, in the case of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of Texas, tweet unsparingly “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows,” in reference to the lifestyle embraced by the victims. Calling the massacre “an act of violence and hate,” President Barack Obama ordered all flags around the nation to be flown at half staff in honor of the victims.

Ali was admired and celebrated in life and in death for taking a principled stand against the Vietnam War. He was unapologetic and willing to accept any consequence associated with his position. Some responded with hate and anger, while African-Americans stood taller, in awe of a man who risked it all at the height of his career and in the prime of his youth.

Omar Mateen, who was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan, killed 53 people enjoying themselves at Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida, on 6/12, 2016. He was killed by police.

Omar Mateen, who was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan, killed 53 people enjoying themselves at Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida, on 6/12, 2016. He was killed by police.

Where do you stand when it matters most? Today, that’s an increasingly difficult question to answer. Individuals, whether they are famous athletes, so-called celebrities, professionals or the everyday person, are reluctant to take a stand on principle. As wall to wall coverage of the Pulse massacre continues unabated, Ali’s boldness, sense of integrity and unwavering commitment to his principles stand out more than ever.

Kevin James Loibl gunned down singer Christina Grimme as she signed autographs after performing in Orlando, Florida on June 10, 2016.

Kevin James Loibl gunned down singer Christina Grimme as she signed autographs after performing in Orlando, Florida on June 10, 2016.

Today’s athletes are too politically correct and focused on money to take a stand and mean it; celebrities are more concerned with garnering followers and vacuous publicity rather than influencing others and cementing a legacy; many professionals are too complacent and devoid of passion to shape their brand around principles that define them.

But as details filter out about Mateen’s 911 call to pledge allegiance to ISIS prior to the bloodbath he inflicted at Pulse, and investigations continue into unearthing the motives of both killers, it bears asking: What defines me? What drives my sense of integrity? What are my principles? Where do I stand when it matters most? The answers to those question could shape the future of our society as a whole, while building the character of every individual so that, like Ali, we all aspire to be greater than we ever envisioned.–OnPointPress.net-

Tributes follow death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali at 74

Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali, has died.

Legendary Boxer Muhammad Ali has died and across the globe fans are united in grief.

By Carmen Glover

Tributes have been pouring out in memory of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who succumbed to a lengthy, valiant, 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, after being hospitalized on May 30. Ali, who was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, died in a Scottsdale, Arizona, hospital at the age of 74, on Friday, June 3, 2016, surrounded by his family. Ali has been hospitalized numerous times in recent years due to his illness.

In a statement announcing the passing of the legend, family spokesman Bob Gunnell said: “After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali, at the age of 74, the three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening.” Gunnell  expressed thanks of the family’s behalf, for everyone’s thoughts, prayers and support, while requesting privacy.

muhammad-ali-2

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer instructed that “flags at all Metro Government facilities be lowered at half-staff at 10:00 a.m.” In a ceremony held at the city’s Metro Hall on Saturday morning, Fischer said that flags will remain lowered until the boxing icon’s burial. In a statement Fischer said:

“The values of hard work, conviction and compassion that Muhammad Ali developed while growing up in Louisville helped him become a global icon. As a boxer, he became ‘The Greatest,’ though his most lasting victories happened outside the ring. Muhammad leveraged his fame as a platform to promote peace, justice and humanitarian efforts around the world, while always keeping strong ties to his hometown. Today, Muhammad Ali’s fellow Louisvillians join the billions whose lives he touched worldwide in mourning his passing, celebrating his legacy, and committing to continue his fight to spread love and hope.”

Muhammad Ali Center, located in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky, has seen fans arriving in droves to pay their respects to the boxing legend.

Muhammad Ali Center, located in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky, has seen fans arriving in droves to pay their respects to the boxing legend.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama issued a statement, saying, in part: “Muhammad Ali was The Greatest. Period. Like everyone else on the planet, Michelle and I mourn his passing. But we’re also grateful to God for how fortunate we are to have known him…Muhammad Ali shook up the world. And the world is better for it. We are all better for it. Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family, and we pray that the greatest fighter of them all finally rests in peace.”

Muhammad Ali embraces one of his daughters, Laila, who followed her father's footsteps in the boxing ring.

Muhammad Ali embraces one of his daughters, Laila, who followed her father’s footsteps in the boxing ring.

George Foreman, 67, who battled Ali in the famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle, in expressing his sense of loss via Twitter said, “A part of me slipped away, the greatest piece.” In 1960, Ali won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rome. Several years later, at the young age of 22, he unseated heavyweight champion Sonny Liston at the Miami Convention Center. Ali went on to defeat other opponents including Foreman and Joe Frazier during a dazzling career that was punctuated by highs and lows.

Ali, who dominated the world stage during his prime for his boxing prowess, charisma, bold boasts, joined the Nation of Islam and refused to fight in the Vietnam War due to his faith. His principled stand earned him a ban for several years until the Supreme Court upheld his position. Ali, in later years became an engaging humanitarian who was committed to the common good. He was fond of stating the he was  “The Greatest,” and popularized phrases such as “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” to describe his boxing style. His legendary boxing career was replete with excitement and catchy phrases such as the “Thrilla in Manila,” and countless others, which can fill volumes.

Muhammad Ali, accompanied by his wife, Lonnie, being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Former President George W. Bush.

Muhammad Ali, accompanied by his wife, Yolanda (Lonnie) Williams, being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Former President George W. Bush.

Ali was married several times and fathered many children. His daughter, Laila, followed his path and became an intimidating boxer as well.

Ali was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom,by President George W. Bush, in 2005. The award is the highest honor that can be given to a U.S. civilian. His Louisville hometown also houses  the Muhammad Ali Center, which highlights his life, ideals and legacy. Fans have flocked to the center to pay their respects to an icon, who, for many, will always hold a special place in their hearts.

UNITED STATES - MARCH 02:  Cassius Marcellus Clay (Muhammad Ali) with Black Muslim leader Malcolm X at 125th St. and Seventh Ave.  (Photo by John Peodincuk/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – MARCH 02: Cassius Marcellus Clay (Muhammad Ali) with Black Muslim leader Malcolm X at 125th St. and Seventh Ave. (Photo by John Peodincuk/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Ali will be laid to rest next week, in a private ceremony on Thursday, June 9, followed by a public, inter-faith memorial on Friday, June 10, during which his body will be escorted through the city of Louisville in a procession that will go pass the center and travel down the street named after The Champ, so that fans can pay their respects. according to Gunnell.

Former President Bill Clinton, journalist Bryant Gumbel and actor Billy Crystal and former Senator Orrin Hatch, will deliver eulogies. The memorial will be led by a Muslim Iman and streamed live online via themuhammadcenter.org. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged in honor of the center.–OnPointPress.net–