There is a lot going on in the world right now, but yesterday we paused to remember the horrific event that happened on June 12, 2016. Four years ago, a shooter opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, taking the lives of 49 individuals and injuring more than 50 others.
Amidst the tragedy, Orlando came together in a show of support and solidarity to honor the lives lost and help in anyway possible. Lines to donate blood sprawled down city blocks, vendors and volunteers helped feed people standing in line, and monetary donations poured in to help.
That night changed our lives forever. Yesterday and always, we remember:
- Stanley Almodovar III, 23
- Amanda Alvear, 25
- Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
- Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
- Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
- Martin Benitez Torres, 33
- Antonio D. Brown, 30
- Darryl R. Burt II, 29
- Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24
- Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
- Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31
- Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
- Luis D. Conde, 39
- Cory J. Connell, 21
- Tevin E. Crosby, 25
- Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50
- Deonka D. Drayton, 32
- Mercedez M. Flores, 26
- Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
- Juan R. Guerrero, 22
- Paul T. Henry, 41
- Frank Hernandez, 27
- Miguel A. Honorato, 30
- Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
- Jason B. Josaphat, 19
- Eddie J. Justice, 30
- Anthony L. Laureano Disla, 25
- Christopher A. Leinonen, 32
- Brenda L. Marquez McCool, 49
- Jean C. Mendez Perez, 35
- Akyra Monet Murray, 18
- Kimberly Morris, 37
- Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27
- Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, 20
- Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
- Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
- Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
- Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
- Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
- Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
- Christopher J. Sanfeliz, 24
- Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
- Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
- Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
- Shane E. Tomlinson, 33
- Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
- Luis S. Vielma, 22
- Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
- Jerald A. Wright, 31
Orlando City tweeted in remembrance of the tragedy four years ago, a photo of the 49 rainbow seats in Exploria Stadium that were installed to honor those lost.
The Orlando Pride took a moment as a team to visit the memorial. You can view their posts below regarding the trip as they took time out to remember the tragedy.
Ali Krieger remembers.
Erin McLeod wasn’t a member of the Pride then but she took time to weigh in.
View this post on Instagram
I have marched in a peaceful protest with my teammates because I, and the people in this club believe Black Lives Matter... I visited the @pulseorlando memorial with this team for the 49 lives tragically lost 4 years ago tomorrow... As the world suffered and continues to suffer from a pandemic this club kept us connected and focused every week... I am proud to play for a club that stands for what is right- i am continuing to learn and be humbled by what is happening in the world right now and am grateful for the people that surround me everyday. Keeper kit out now;) @orlpride
Kristen Edmonds posted a message of love.
Ashlyn Harris vowed never to forget those who were lost.
View this post on Instagram
We will never forget. @markthorphotos “On June 12, 2016, 49 Angels sought the joy, love and acceptance of Pulse nightclub. Instead, they found hatred. And they never came home. They were gay. They were straight. Latin, black, white. Fathers. Mothers. Brothers. Sisters. Daughters. Sons. Taken forever. We will never forget them.” @pulseorlando
Kay Rawlins reminded us of the city’s strength.
Major League Soccer showed Orlando the league’s support, and remind us that the tragic events of that night not only affecting Orlando but the entire nation.
I remember. I remember waiting to hear if friends were all right and if family members of loved ones were OK. I remember tears of sadness and the guilt of relief. I remember how this city — the city I love — came together to prove just how beautiful it is.
I’m sure many others who didn’t post to social media remember, but yesterday and always, we all remember.
Keep dancing, Orlando!
Here are some organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ youth in the Orlando area: