Those affected by the Pulse mass shooting were remembered at this year’s Rose Parade.
After the tragic events of the Orlando shooting back in June last year, the 49 victims killed in the attack were honoured in the California Rose Parade on Monday as 49 live doves were released from a float which was created by the Los Angeles AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
This was the 128th annual New Year’s parade which was held in Pasadena, California. The float was entitled ‘To Honour And Remember Orlando’ and was decorated with a bed of roses, and 49 white stars to further represent the victims. A large dove was also displayed above a pair of rainbows.
Ged Kenslea, spokesperson for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told the Orlando Sentinel: “It’s bittersweet because I think we’d all rather be focusing on another topic, but this is our way of honouring the lives we lost along with sending a message of resilience.”
The attack took place on 12 June 2016 in Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where 53 people were injured as well as the 49 murdered. Survivors of the shooting, Victor Baez Febo, Isaiah Henderson and Jahqui Sevilla all rode on the float where they were cheered and supported by the crowds.
They travelled alongside representatives and activists from the local LGBT community as well as the owner of Pulse nightclub, Barbara Poma.
Corey Lyons, from Impulse Group Orlando, said: “It’s a privilege to take part in this Rose Parade float honouring the dead, the wounded, the survivors and the family members left behind after the Orlando tragedy.
“However, we must not lose sight of the fact that this beautiful float also serves as a solemn and sacred reminder to millions of parade viewers around the world that the stigma and discrimination that led to this attack are not over – the fight goes on, and we must be vigilant in speaking out and speaking out against such bigotry, hatred and injustice.”
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