Fifty-nine people lost their lives on Sunday in Las Vegas, with hundreds more getting injured in the process. One of those wounded Americans has something to say about it.
Thomas Gunderson, one victim of more than 500 injured on that day, wanted to share a message with all Americans. “They want to get a rise out of us. They want to cause divide and when we respond with hate as well, it simply worsens the situation and destroys the meaning behind this message. I will do my best to respond to the ones I can with complete class and love. Let’s continue to bring our nation together instead of fight with those simply looking to fight. I’m asking that as a favor for everyone reading my posts,” he said, according to the Independent Journal Review.
Gunderson was shot in the leg by Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, and was rushed to the hospital. When President Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump came to visit each one of the victims at the hospital, the wounded American wouldn’t let his injuries prevent him from showing his respect.
“I will never lie down when the President of this great country comes to shake my hand! There may be plenty of issues in this country but I will always respect my country, my president, and my flag. Shot in the leg or not, I will stand to show my President the respect he deserves,” he stated.
When he first heard the gunshots, he thought the noise was that of a malfunctioning speaker, but after realizing the gravity of the situation, he was one of the first to help people safely get outside of the killing zone.
“There were a lot of people helping and risking their lives for others,” Gunderson said in a phone interview, according to Fox News. “I heard the rounds going off but we kept thinking, it’s fake, it’s fake.”
However, it was only a moment later that he was shot in the leg, an experience which he described as being painless in the heat of the moment, with blood shooting everywhere. After receiving emergency first aid from a young woman who treated his injury, he was carried away to safety by some men.
Thankfully, the bullet went completely through his leg, with the bullet missing any bone or arteries – an injury that could have been much worse.
Of the moment he found out that the President was going to visit him personally along with the other injured victims, he said, “I told my family that I was going to stand up and shake my president’s hand – out of respect for him and our leaders and our nation.”
“It was one of the greatest moments in my life,” he would later say. “That was one of the most humbling experiences of my life – the fact that the president would take time to come here and just shake my hand and to let him know if I needed anything.”
Wounded man stands to honor his president, while so many others feel free to show disrespect for Trump. Would Obama have tolerated what Trump endures?
Trump would even remark that Gunderson “looks tough to me,” a compliment that the injured American surely appreciated.
If there ever was a true American – it’s Thomas Gunderson.