By Lawrence Pfeil, Jr
Five years ago, we woke up to the news of the worst massacre of Americans by gun violence, at that time in history, and it was executed on LGBT+ people in a place of Community. Once again, our Community felt the hate and rage of homophobia. Forgotten or overlooked in that hate crime is almost all of the 49 victims were Latin and people of color.
What was hard to grasp that horrifying morning and still today is 49 people were lost in one night, a Saturday night when they went out to go dancing. 49…lives gone. 49 is only a number, a concept until you start counting it out, not in your head but in objects before you.
Grab a handful of coins from your change jar or all your silverware from the drawer and start laying out pieces on a table in front of you counting to 49. Then step back and look at it; that’s how many of us were lost five years ago. I can tell you from experience, it’s worth doing.
But those who unexpectedly lost their lives in a place they thought it was safe to be who they are, who they love, and do it together were not “objects.” They were young men and women out enjoying life and who we remember and honor now.
“We Will Not Let hate Win” is the pledge of the One Pulse Foundation who is in charge of the permanent memorial, but their work goes far beyond memorializing. The foundation includes scholarships, education, programing and running the interim memorial in Orlando. Tonight, June 12th they are hosting the Five-Year Pulse Remembrance Ceremony from 7 to 8 p.m.
From their website,
“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 ceremony also honors all who survived, the brave first responders and the trauma teams who sacrificed so much to save so many.”
If you would like to be a part of the Remembrance Ceremony, it will be streaming live on their YouTube Channel below.
As posted this week in The Randy Report both houses of Congress have overwhelmingly passed a bill which will designate Pulse as a National Monument which President Biden has promised to sign into law.
Until the permanent memorial is finished, you can visit the “Pulse Memorial One Pulse” virtual 360 tour for a stunning tribute to the lives lost, power of love, and commitment to ending hate.
Take the tour by clicking below
If you would like to become part of the permanent memorial, figuratively and literally OutLoveHate is helping to raise funds for it $49 at time and will include your image and message with it.
Visit OutLoveHate.com for more information and to donate
The Orlando Ribbon Maker has been honoring the 49 every day since that terrible day when he lost a dear friend. He literally wears his heart on sleeve.
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