PHOTOS: Mayors Dyer and Jacobs declare June 12 Orlando United Day at Pulse ceremony

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Hundreds gathered at the Pulse memorial June 12 to honor and remember the 49 lives lost just two years ago within the nightclub at the memorial’s location.

The crowd watched performances from the Orlando Gay Chorus, Blue Star, the Orlando Philharmonic and more.

Both Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County mayor Teresa Jacobs spoke separately, then returned to the stage together to issue a proclamation.

“We will always remember that Orlando responded to hate with an unprecedented display of love and unity and we will always be remembered as a community that confronted tragedy with the best that humanity has to offer,” Jacobs said.

Dyer followed with, “we did not stand alone during our darkest days, but instead we inspired not just our neighbors but also friends from across the globe to stand with us and our community by becoming Orlando United, showing the world that love can defeat hate.”

Both mayors then proclaimed June 12, 2018, and every June 12 thereafter, as Orlando United Day, a day of love and kindness.

Barbara Poma, owner of Pulse and founder of the onePULSE Foundation, addressed the crowd with an emotional speech calling on everyone to keep the spirit of the 49 Pulse angels alive with action.

“It is up to all of us to continue to tell their stories and to be their voices,” Poma said. “We will educate future generations about the repercussions of bullying and hate… While our hearts are still heavy we know that we are the proof that love wins, and that we have the power to make that change.”

Photos by Melody Maia Monet.

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