Thomas Gunderson was one of the 500 people who were injured in last week's shooting in Las Vegas, which is officially the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
The 28-year-old from Newport Beach, California was at the concert with his friends when shots rang out, and was struck in the leg by a bullet. The young man's life was likely saved by a pair of bystanders who wrapped a belt around his leg as a tourniquet.
While 59 people were killed in the shooting, many were injured, including over a dozen who are still in critical condition. On Wednesday, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited some of the shooting's victims in Las Vegas.
Gunderson is recovering well, but told Fox News that his gunshot wound makes it "hard to stand, very painful." That's what has made this video of his meeting with the president go viral around the world.
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!Posted by Thomas Gunderson on Wednesday, October 4, 2017
While the First Lady can be heard telling Gunderson he should sit down, he insists on standing and shaking the president's hand. In a message on Facebook, he explained that "There may be plenty of issues in this country but I will always respect my country, my president and my flag."
But Gunderson's small gesture has created a big controversy online, and the young man has been forced to respond...
Most of the coverage of Gunderson's meeting with the President has been positive, including a mention of the special moment at a White House press briefing.
But in a Facebook post, Gunderson reveals he was surprised by the number of angry and hateful comments left on his video of the meeting. He explains that he only meant to share an "uplifting message during this horrific time in our country."
While he's seen a lot of "hateful comments," he asks his friends and followers to ignore them, choosing to focus on the things that unite us as Americans instead. “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.”
Along with Gunderson, President Trump visited a number of doctors, nurses and first responders who treated the victims of the Las Vegas attack. Gunderson's story is one of the many cases of humanity, heartfelt reunions and heroism that has come to light in the days following the devastating shooting.
Is it wrong to criticize Gunderson for his small gesture? Share this story and tell us what you think!