It has been a year since the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history stole 49 lives and scarred countless others at Pulse Nightclub. The area was a safe space for Orlando’s gay community.
For the first time since the massacre last June, owner Barbara Poma turned on the building’s outside lights Sunday — reminding mourners what it looked like before everything closed down.
A private memorial service, which is only open to the survivors, local officials, and club employees started at 1:45AM, which is the time that Omar Mateen started firing into the club one year ago today. In addition to a large amount of other memorial services taking place around Orlando, a group of local churches plan to ring their bells at noon 49 times, in memory of every person lost.
Ramses Tinoco, who survived the massacre, said “It’s totally different now. It’s like all the terrifying and awful memories I had have been replaced with tonight, with this unity and all this love….We’re all still grieving but this gave me some closure. I could smile and remember the 49.”
Once again, the city has been incredibly supportive of the memorial services and the below pictures attest to that. For information regarding special memorials and possible traffic changes, visit this site.
— Orlando FL (@citybeautiful) June 12, 2017
— Orlando FL (@citybeautiful) June 11, 2017