CLEVELAND - He has covered major tragedies, been to war zones, but says the shooting in Orlando is one of the worst things he has seen. Renowned journalist Geraldo Rivera spoke to Fox 8 about his experience, just hours after leaving Florida and arriving in Cleveland to celebrate the Anti-Defamation League on their anniversary.
They were different races and religions, all colors and creeds…hundreds of people gathered inside the Hilton Hotel downtown to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Anti-Defamation League here in Cleveland.
They began with a moment of silence to remember the 49 people killed in the Sunday morning mass shooting at The Pulse nightclub, which caters to the LGBT community in Orlando, Florida.
"49 dead, 53 wounded right here in the United States, young people just out for a good time, I'm telling you, Kevin, it's one of the worst things I've ever seen," Rivera said.
A powerful statement from Fox News corresponden Rivera, whose career spans 47 years. He was the guest speaker for Tuesday night's dinner.
"There were people just dazed still, they were in pain, they were suffering, really it was such a tragedy, such an outrage and it really is deeply troubling that it happened to young people just out having a good time," said Rivera.
The national Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913, dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism as well as all types of hatred and bigotry.
"Unfortunately, the need for our work is growing, it's not lessening as we see events unfold in the country," said Anita Gray, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League.
The evening focused on the events in Orlando, while also honoring the work of local leaders and members. The father of Geraldo's wife Erica, Howard Levy, is a past chairman of the Cleveland ADL.
"Obviously, there's a lot of work to be done," said Erica Rivera.
Like many parents, the Riveras try to find words to explain the tragedy to their daughter, 10-year old Sol.
"It is something that has deeply affected me, more so than any of the combat situations I've been in, when it happens in your own nation and its citizens doing it to other citizens, it's very, very difficult to explain to a child and to understand ourselves even as adults," said Gerald Rivera.
Erica Rivera grew up in Shaker Heights, so she and Geraldo already had close ties to the local organization.