HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

screen_shot_2017-04-18_at_5.15.32_pm.png

Remembering the Orlando 49: Gilberto Ramon Silva Menéndez 

Every week between now and the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shootings, Orlando Weekly will profile a person killed on June 12, 2016. This week: Gilberto Ramon Silva Menéndez

Gilberto Silva Menéndez left this world to the sounds of drums and those who loved him dancing to plena music with rainbow flags.

Silva Menéndez, also known as "Culi" and "Junito," was one of 49 people killed at the gay nightclub Pulse during a mass shooting on June 12. At his funeral, his family didn't want mourners to wear black. They wanted people to celebrate in the way that reflected Silva Menéndez's joyfulness by dressing in bright colors, holding balloons and dancing to Puerto Rican folk music.

"You were so special," his sister Marynell Valentin wrote on Facebook. "I only ask God to guide your soul. What I would give to hear your voice again, to have that smile you always put on my face. I love you, my gaviota. Visit me in my dreams because I need one of those hugs from you."

Silva Menéndez, 25, was originally from Manati, Puerto Rico, and moved to Orlando a few years ago. Before his death, he was working as a sales associate at Speedway and studying health care management at the Ana G. Méndez University's Orlando campus. His friends and family knew him as a happy person who loved music and life.

"It sucks to accept and live with never again seeing someone who only caused happiness in my life," writes Karla Cabrera, one of Silva Menéndez friends. "My mind is hurt and my heart has gone crazy."

On Silva Menéndez's birthday last year, his friends and family left loving messages to him on social media and imagined him celebrating in heaven.

"How time has gone by but the pain does not subside," Valentin wrote to her brother. "It's been eight months without listening to your laugh, without seeing you dance. Wow, how I miss you. You're always in my thoughts."

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 2, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation