Victims and survivors of the Pulse massacre were honored and remembered Tuesday night — two years after the tragic event.
The remembrance ceremony included the reading of the names of the 49 victims, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs as guest speakers and a performance by the Orlando Gay Chorus.
Survivors, victim’s family members, community members, first responders and elected officials flooded the streets surrounding the nightclub.
India Godman was at Pulse the night of the attack. She said 12 of her friends passed away in the shooting. “There was a time that I had survivors guilt,” said Godman.
She said that she feels lucky to have survived. Godman’s son was also at Pulse the night of the shooting and he survived as well. She said seeing her son survive was like giving birth to him all over again.
Godman said the support from the Orlando community means a lot to her.
“The community came as one, they showed loved,” said Godman. “49 angels didn’t just die in vain, you know were never going to forget though the people we lost that night “
She said the two-year anniversary was not an anniversary, but rather a day of remembrance.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer spoke at the event and praised the Orlando community and reaffirmed his support for the LGBTQ+ community, the Latinx and other communities.
Dyer ended his speech by saying, “So, to those survivors who are here tonight and who show us every day what love looks like, we want you to know once again that we love you and we support you.”
One little girl was holding up a sign saying, “#LOVEWINS”.
Delanie Kimball a 12-year girl started handing out colored hearts right after news broke of the attack.
She says she has handed out nearly 30,000 over a two-year period. Kimball says she has handed these hearts out all over the United States, as well as other countries.
“Our father died when we were a very young age and we knew that 49 families would be feeling the same grief,” said Kimball. “So, we wanted to do as much as we could to spread love and help everyone feel happiness.”
Kimball continued to spread love and happiness by handing out the rainbow-colored hearts at Tuesdays ceremony.
A video played where the names of the 49 victims were read by family members along with their aspirations. Each name was accompanied by a photo.
The night was somber but at times upbeat. A rainbow was spotted in the sky near Pulse during the event. Families, friends and strangers were embracing each other.
Two years after the Pulse massacre, Orlando continued to show it’s support for victims and survivors of the Pulse attack to prove love ultimately wins.