Today marks the one year anniversary of the killing of 49 persons at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The City of Orlando and Orange County Government, in collaboration with Pulse, have jointly designated June 12, 2017, as “Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness.” June 12 will be dedicated to honoring the memory of the 49 innocent Pulse victims and is an opportunity to join with others in Acts of Love and Kindness to continue the unity that followed the tragedy. Engaging in these activities on June 12 is a respectful and loving way to remember and honor the lives of those taken and to show compassion to those who need support.
Connor Norton, Norfolk artist and company manager at the Virginia Stage Company, is in Orlando today, interviewing survivors and first responders for the collaborative Orange Avenue Project, collecting stories, memories, perspectives, and words of those directly and indirectly affected by The Pulse Tragedy. Earlier this morning Connor posted this on Facebook, reflecting on the tragedy one year later:
“As I sit here in Orlando, no farther away from Pulse than some of the people who decided last minute to join their friends for Latin night, I find my body still struggling to find the words and feelings to encompass how I feel. I don’t think I’ll ever find the words, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express the grief, anger, and sorrow. Nor do I think I should, there are so much more beautiful messages and voices that are speaking up so eloquently in this wake that need to be elevated and heard in the face of this painful time. So I will do as I always do, I will listen…preserver…create art…and remember their stories…I only hope the world listens, remembers, and changes with these stories for the better.”
Local residents will be gathering this evening to remember the victims of the Pulse shootings. A candlelight vigil and open mic night is planned this evening in Norfolk by the Hampton Roads Justice Network. The event begins at 7 p.m. at The Plot in the NEON District adjacent to downtown Norfolk. For more information, click HERE.