Panama City, FL –
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The 49 people killed in a mass shootout at a Florida gay nightclub were honored in Orlando and around the world on Saturday, marking the fifth anniversary of the attack.
City of Orlando officials said more than 600 places of worship around the world rang 49 times to honor every victim who died in the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Orlando’s First United Methodist Church brought loved ones and community members together and read the names of the victims.
Elected leaders and activists said throughout the day that people who have died should be remembered not only with words, but also with actions. U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat who represents Orlando, said in a live-broadcast nationwide debate hosted by a coalition of human rights and gun safety groups that she had been inspired to run for public office after the tragedy.
“After five years, I still can’t figure out why anyone would do this. How can their hatred be so strong? Murphy said. “But today I find it even more difficult to understand why some politicians still refuse to take the most basic measures to prevent the next shooting.”
President Joe Biden said on Saturday that he sign an invoice name the nightclub as a national memorial. He stressed in a statement that the country must do more to reduce gun violence, such as banning assault weapons and closing loopholes in regulations that allow gun buyers to bypass background checks.
Brandon Wolf, media relations manager for LGBTQ rights organization Equality Florida, remembers being at Pulse the night of the massacre and losing two of his best friends. He told the roundtable that he has since dedicated his life to making sure they don’t become a statistic.
“My job every day is to defend our community against violence and hate in all its forms,” said Wolf. “This job is a constant reminder that the Pulse shooting was not an aberration. LGBTQ people are still under attack. “
The deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in US history left 49 dead and 53 injured as “Latin Night” was celebrated at the club on June 12, 2016. Shooter Omar Mateen was killed after a three-hour standoff between members of the SWAT team. . He had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Dozens of survivors, family members of the deceased and first responders have been invited to a ceremony Saturday night on the grounds of the old club, south of downtown Orlando. The site has been transformed into a temporary memorial lined with photos of the victims and rainbow-colored flowers and memorabilia.
Victims of Pulse nightclub massacre remembered 5 years later Source link Victims of Pulse nightclub massacre remembered 5 years later