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Reporter's notebook: Humanity after tragedy in Orlando

Reporter's notebook: David Begnaud in Orlando

I arrived in Orlando at about 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, and when I got off the plane I was told to go to a blood bank, where they had been asking urgently for people to donate.

I remember some of the people in line saying they had gotten there at 10 a.m. that morning. This was about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and it was blazing hot.

The sky opened and it started pouring, and not one person walked away. Not one person left.

The doors were going to close at 7, and I remember one of the women at the blood bank saying, "We're not closing the doors. We can't close the doors. I can't tell somebody who got here at 10 a.m. to leave."

What we saw in Orlando was a lot of humanity that I think surprised a lot of people.

There were crosses that were set up by a man who made them in the Midwest, and then got in his car and drove them to Orlando himself. He lined them all up in this waterfront area across from the hospital, and they were intended to be places where people could go and leave messages.

I remember sitting in front of one of those crosses, and there was a mother of one of the deceased looking at her son's cross. She appeared to be numb. A little while later the father, the grandmother, the brother, and the sister all showed up at that cross and they wrote on it.

These people are able to have a personal moment with something that was provided by a man they'll never meet, they'll never know. That man just wanted to do something.

That's when it hit me, when I just sat there quietly, just looking at those crosses. I never cease to be surprised by how helping humanity can be in the worst times.

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