Sunday marks the sixth anniversary of the fatal shooting at an Orlando nightclub
ORLANDO, Florida. – Sunday marks the sixth anniversary of the fatal shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando where 49 people were killed and 53 others injured – the deadliest mass shooting in US history at the time – and our community at never touched.
Events were held throughout the week leading up to the grim anniversary to honour, mourn and remember those lost in the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, when a gunman entered the nightclub late in the night. night and started shooting.
In the wake of recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, Santa Ana, California, Uvalde, Texas, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Washington County, Missouri, onePulse Foundation founder Barbara Poma wonders if any significant changes were made to help prevent these types of mass shootings.
“Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. It seems like every morning or two we wake up and watch communities hold each other. We watch crosses arrive and candles light. We watch families shaken by grief and survivors living in fear,” she told FOX 35 ahead of Sunday’s birthday.
PULSE MEMORY: Previous stories about memorials, discussions and updates from Pulse
It also comes a day after “March For Our Lives” rallies were held across the country on Saturday, including in Orlando, where advocates demanded changes in law to prevent gun violence. March For Our Lives was founded after the deadly 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Forty-nine wooden crosses — each with a picture of a deceased person — have been installed at the Orange County Regional History Center and represent love, not hate, according to one of the organizers.
“People came and left items of tribute or signed messages and it became one of the symbols of the community’s response to the tragedy,” said Jeremy Hileman.
Photos, notes, messages and tributes were also posted on a temporary memorial outside the Pulse nightclub. “We won’t let hate win,” read one sign.
REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS OF THE PULSE NIGHTCLUB FILMING – THE 49 ANGELS
- Stanley Almodóvar III, 23 years old
- Amanda L. Alvear, 25
- Oscar A. Aracena Montero, 26
- Rodolfo Ayala Ayala, 33 years old
- Antonio Davon Brown, 29
- Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
- Ange Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
- Juan Chávez Martinez, 25 years old
- Luis Daniel Condé, 39 years old
- Cory James Connell, 21
- Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
- Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
- Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
- Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
- Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
- Peter Ommy González Cruz, 22 years old
- Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
- Paul Terrell Henry, 41
- Frank Hernandez, 27
- Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
- Javier Jorge Reyes, 40 years old
- Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
- Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
- Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old
- Christophe Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
- Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
- Brenda Marquez McCool, 49
- Gilberto R. Silva Menéndez, 25 years old
- Kimberly Jean Morris, 37
- Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
- Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20 years old
- Geraldo A. Ortiz Jiménez, 25 years old
- Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
- Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
- Jean Carlos Méndez Perez, 35 years old
- Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25
- Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27 years old
- Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35 years old
- Christophe Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
- Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24 years old
- Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
- Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
- Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
- Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 years old
- Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, 37
- Luis Sergio Vielma, 22 years old
- Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velazquez, 50
- Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
- Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
HOW ORLANDO GATHERED AFTER FILMING
In the hours following the shooting, first responders, organizations, businesses, and the Orlando community immediately stepped up to help in any way they could and to deal with adversity.
Ordinary citizens joined first responders to help surviving victims, while hundreds lined up for hours to donate blood at local blood drives. Memorials and vigils popped up in every corner of the city where people paid their respects, including one at Lake Eola where around 50,000 people attended.
Commemorations were held across the country with the internationally trending hashtags #LoveWins and #OrlandoStrong.
In 2021, the United States Senate passed a bill to officially designate the Pulse Nightclub site as a nationally recognized memorial. Senator Rick Scott introduced and unanimously passed the resolution recognizing the anniversary of the Pulse tragedy and honoring the 49 innocent victims. A companion bill to the memorial legislation was led by Congressman Darren Soto in the United States House and was passed by the House.
Governor Ron DeSantis signed a proclamation ordering flags in Florida to be flown at half-mast on Sunday to commemorate the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
“Six years ago, on June 12, 2016, a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant committed a horrific act of terrorism against the LGBTQ and Hispanic communities at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida,” indicates the proclamation.