Today, commemorations across the nation honored the lives of the 49 people — most of them young, LGBTQ and Latinx — killed in the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.
According to ABC Orlando affiliate WFTV, a crowd gathered at a temporary memorial outside the nightclub at 2:02 a.m, the time the shooting started. Plus, Orlando Gov. Rick Scott, who also visited the Pulse Memorial, declared June 12 Pulse Remembrance Day in Florida. Scott asked all residents to pause for a moment of silence and ordered the lowering of all Florida state flags to half-staff from sunrise to sunset.
Furthermore, 149 churches around the nation rang bells 49 times to honor those killed, according to the One Orlando Alliance.
In Washington, D.C., HRC staff and members held a public reading of the victims’ names and observed a moment of silence at their headquarters.
“Every day, we carry forward the memories of the 49 people whose lives were cruelly and tragically taken at Pulse,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “As our nation marks two years since this tragedy, we must never lose sight of the unfulfilled hopes, the families shattered and the love lost in this preventable act of mass murder.
“The thousands more killed by gun violence since Pulse underscores the glaring failure of our elected officials to take common-sense steps to combat the scourge of gun violence that plagues our nation. We remain as resolved as ever to honor those taken with action, and to work with our coalition partners to ensure that lifesaving steps are finally taken so that all of us may live safe from violence.”
Additionally, in a statement released today DNC Chair Tom Perez memorialized the tragedy.
“Two years ago, our nation witnessed one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history. It was an attack on the LGBTQ community, the Latinx community, and LGBTQ people of color everywhere. It was an attack on the American people and the values of diversity and equality that all of us should cherish. And it was an all-too-common reminder that our nation is in dire need of common-sense gun reforms.
“On this anniversary, let us honor the lives lost that night by recommitting ourselves to the fight for a world where no one faces discrimination, where no life is taken by hatred or bigotry, where everyone is treated with respect and dignity — no matter who they are or who they love. As we celebrate Pride Month, we recognize that the fight for LGBTQ equality is far from over, and the Democratic Party will continue to stand with LGBTQ communities in America and around the world who are fighting for the rights they deserve.”
The Pulse attack, was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history until the tragic shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, during an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, leaving 58 dead.