Pulse nightclub shooting 4 years later, victims & survivors remembered


Victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting — the worst attack against LGBTQ people in U.S. history — will be remembered tonight during a virtual memorial that will stream on Facebook and YouTube.

On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old, entered Pulse, the Orlando, Florida, nightclub, that was hosting its regular Latino night, and sprayed the interior with bullets.

The shooting massacre lasted more than three hours.

In the end, 49 were killed and 58 people were injured. Mateen died in a shootout with police.

Pulse survivors Brian Reagan and Milan D’Marco attended and were honored at the Long Beach Pride Parade in 2017.

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The National Pulse Memorial and Museum will honor the victims and survivors. The project will tower six stories over downtown Orlando and include public plazas, gardens, and an open-air museum, according to a concept design.

This year’s memorial ceremony will be the fourth service. Each of them has been hosted and organized by the onePULSE Foundation. This year’s ceremony will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pretaped ceremony will begin streaming at 4 p.m. PST and 7 p.m. EST. The service will include the reading of the 49 victim names by family members, and remarks from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings, onePULSE Foundation Board Chair Earl Crittenden, and onePULSE Foundation Founder and CEO Barbara Poma.

Pulse Nightclub Shooting

This memorial outside the site of Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, memorializes the 49 people who were killed. The massacre was the worst attack on LGBTQ people in U.S. history. Photo: Charlie Gage for Q Voice News.

Each mayor will read two original poems about survivors and first responders. Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley wrote the poems.

Orlando-raised singer-actor-Broadway star Norm Lewis and Latinx singer-songwriter-record producer-author Yaire will perform during the ceremony.

Rev. Terri Steed Pierce and Rev. Stanley Ramos of Joy Metropolitan Community Church will lead the invocation.

The onePULSE Foundation has a virtual tour of the Pulse Interim Memorial available at its website.

The ceremony will be streamed on the foundation’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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