LGBTQ Pride celebrations worldwide will honor Pulse nightclub victims in Orlando with many vigils and gatherings. One year later, the community will never forget the tragedy that look the lives of 49 people and injured nearly 60 more when gunman Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call then opened fire before police rushed into the building and shot him dead.
In remembrance of this day, Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow, senior pastor and teacher at the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit in Ferndale, will say a few words during a vigil at 8 p.m. on June 10 at the closing of Motor City Pride’s festival for the evening in Hart Plaza.
The vigil is open to everyone in the community who seeks peace and tolerance and will be free of charge to attend. Illumination devices will be provided as supplies permit.
MCP organizers are committed to standing with all who are affected by violence and intolerance. Details regarding this event can be found online http://motorcitypride.org/ or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Another local vigil will be held at 9 p.m. on June 12 during Grand Rapids Pride at The Apartment Lounge, 33 Sheldon Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. Call 616-458-3511, email email@example.com or visit www.grpride.org/fest/ for more information.
On the anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, the city of Orlando will come together to remember the victims of the Pulse nightclub during the Orlando Love: Remembering Our Angels event on June 12.
“What happened at Pulse was the darkest day in our city’s history, and we continue to grieve for the victims and fight for those who are still suffering,” Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan said in a Facebook statement. “This June 12, our entire LGBTQ community and our allies need to stand together and continue to show that we are a strong, united city that responds with love.”
Additionally, Pulse owner Barbara Poma and Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer are among those who will speak at the Orlando Love event, which is being produced by volunteers and supported entirely by donations.
Poma announced plans in December 2016 to convert the nightclub into a memorial and museum to commemorate the tragic event. The plan is to open the “sanctuary of hope” in 2020, but Poma said it’s not yet clear how much the site will cost, or what it will look like, though she emphasized that it is a “community-driven effort” and the museum will showcase “historic artifacts and stories from the event.”
A non-profit fund, the onePULSE Foundation, has been set up to fund this effort, as well as community grants to care for the survivors and victims’ families and endowed scholarships for each of the people killed. For more information, visit the onePULSE Foundation website. Read more about the Orlando Love event online.