Here’s how Pulse nightclub is memorializing the 4th anniversary of the tragic shooting
It’s been four years since the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and the gay bar is making sure the tragedy isn’t forgotten. In addition to the 49 killed, over 50 people were injured, and the memory has weighed heavily on the city and the LGBTQ+ community ever since. To honor the victims of the second deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, the onePULSE Foundation is hosting a virtual annual remembrance ceremony and holding firm one strong message: “We will not let hate win.”
“The observance brings together the families of those whose lives were tragically taken and provides them a space to remember their loved ones in peace,” the nonprofit wrote in a Facebook post. “We also honor all who survived, the brave first responders, and our trauma teams who sacrificed so much to save so many.”
The pre-taped program will feature family members reading each of the 49 names of those killed and remarks from the city of Orlando mayor, Orange County mayor, onePULSE Foundation Board Chair Earl Crittenden, and onePULSE Foundation Founder and CEO Barbara Poma. There will also be performances by Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley; Orlando-raised singer, actor, and Broadway star Norm Lewis; and Latin singer-songwriter, record producer, and author Yaire.
A tribute post on the club’s Instagram reads: “On June 12, 2016, 49 Angels sought the joy, love and acceptance of Pulse nightclub. Instead, they found hatred. And they never came home.”
In the past few days, Pulse nightclub has shared photos of each life lost to the shooting on its Instagram. The victims include a recent high-school grad, an aspiring nurse, a U.S. Army Reserve captain, a cancer survivor, an actor, a dancer, and more.
“They were gay. They were straight. Latin, Black, white. Fathers. Mothers. Brothers. Sisters. Daughters. Sons. Taken forever. We will never forget them,” a post on the club’s Instagram reads.
The city of Orlando is also making sure to hold space for these victims and honor this day of remembrance. Since the shooting, the city has made plans to turn the site of the shooting into a memorial and museum. The Pulse Interim Memorial exists now and is intended as a “sanctuary of quiet reflection and love dedicated to honoring the senseless loss of innocent life and remembering the horrible attack that occurred on June 12, 2016,” the onePULSE Foundation website reads.
In the past few years, there has also been a 49 bells movement in which 700 churches from 16 countries have joined the tolling of the 49 bells on June 12th, Click Orlando reports. This will also take place virtually this year on Friday at noon Eastern on the One Orlando Alliance Facebook page.