Today, June 12th, marks the anniversary of the terror attack at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The Florida city will remember the 49 people killed with a day’s worth of planned public memorials.
Early Monday morning, hundreds of people gathered at the nightclub, which is being converted into a museum and memorial, to remember the victims of the shooting.
At 2:02 a.m., the time on June 12th, 2016 when the attack began, the names of those killed in the shooting were read aloud, with the family members of some victims on hand to say their names, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The nightclub also held a private ceremony for family members while mourners – including dozens of people dressed as “angels” – stood outside.
49 angels have arrived outside Pulse. Incredible scene. pic.twitter.com/2bzqBoXmwg
— Justin Warmoth (@JustinWarmoth) June 12, 2017
The city of Orlando previously named June 12th “Orlando United Day — A Day of Love and Kindness,” with the city also organizing the “Orlando Love – Remembering Our Angels” event to be held Monday night at the city’s Lake Eola Park.
The memorial will feature Orlando-based artists as well as singers like Olga Tañón, who will sing her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” One-time The Voice contestant Sisaundra Lewis will also perform at the event alongside acts like the Orlando Gay Chorus, the From Broadway With Love Choir, the CFCA Choral Group, the Orlando Firefighters Pipes and Drums and more.
Pulse owner Barbara Poma and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will speak at the Orlando Love event. Following that memorial, the Pulse will reopen for a “final, music-filled late-night service,” the Associated Press reports.
On Monday, the National LGBTQ Task Force, a coalition of 59 organizations, issued a statement in remembrance of the Pulse victims.
“One year ago, in the aftermath of the Orlando tragedy, we came together in grief, in unity, and in solidarity with the Orlando community and millions of people everywhere, to condemn this act of hate violence and affirm that love conquers hate. That senseless act struck at the heart of the LGBTQ and Latinx communities, families, and close friends, and at the core of one of our nation’s greatest strengths: our diversity. The ensuing backlash against the American Muslim community led to hate speech and violence, shootings, and mosque vandalism that claimed even more victims,” the statement read.
“The acts of kindness that followed also illustrated that, even in our darkest moments, and despite the repeated attempts to use fear to further divide us, time and time again, the people of this country come together to console and support those in need. As we remember those we lost and their families, we renew our commitment to honor them with action by protecting one another and our country’s ideals of freedom, liberty, and equality under the law for all people.”
— Orange County FL (@OrangeCoFL) June 12, 2017