Friday, October 21, 2016

Pulse memorial ceremony draws hundreds inside club's gates

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 5:55 PM

  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
For the first time since June 12, the gay nightclub Pulse opened its gates to hundreds of people Thursday night who came to see the unveiling of a memorial honoring the 49 victims who lost their lives in the mass shooting. 

Victims' families, survivors of the shooting and members of the community crowded into the tight space to reflect on the lives of people lost in the attack and to honor their memories by leaving notes on a canvas mural created by L.A. artists Nats Getty and Mr. Brainwash. The canvas design consisted of six rainbow-colored heart splatters and one large purple heart splatter with the words, "I am. We are. Let's be." 

"We are together tonight to think about them, to never forget about them and to continue," Mr. Brainwash says. "Love is the answer." 
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro

The Orlando Gay Chorus and local leaders in the LGBTQ community were also present, including Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. 

"I have never ever been so proud to say I am from the city of Orlando than I am right now at this moment in time," she says. "We were attacked by a hate-filled shooter and we've shown the world how to love...For those of you who lost people, I want you to know everyone in this crowd, respects, admires and loves you. We are here for you, and we will always be here for you." 

Carlos Guillermo Smith, with Equality Florida, told the crowd to remember that they are loved. 

"We will never forget the 49," he says. "We will never forget the 53 who are continuing in their story of survival. While we will continue to mourn the dead, we need to come together to fight like hell for the living." 

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