The Orlando Pulse Night Club massacre happened on June 12, 2016.
A lone gunman murdered 49 people and inured a further 53 persons.
People still remember and mourn. The 128th Tournament of Roses Parade in California on January 2, 2017 included a large float of roses with 49 white stars. A large white dove sat above a pari of rainbows. Three survivors of the mass shooting rode on the float that was commissioned and sponsored by the Los Angeles AIDS Healthcare Foiundation. An explanation by the spokesperson, Ged Kenslea, explainred.
Its bitter sweet because I think wed all rather be focusing on another topic, but this is our way of honoring the lives we lost along with sending a message of resilience.
On the Float:
Survivors Baez Febo, Isaiah Henderson and Jahqui Sevilla and Pulse owner, Barbara Poma, waved to the crowds of supporters. They were accompanied by those who aided in Orlandos healing and recovery, particularly Patty Sheehan, an out city commissioner of Orlando. Also present was case worker and HIV counselor Joel Morales, and Impulse Group Orlandos president Corey Lyons and vice president Gustavo Marrero.
Releasing Live Doves
Twice during the parade 49 live doves were released from the float, which won the 2017 award for most beautiful non-commercial entry.
Animal/bird lovers have misgivings and outright concern about doves being released for any activity/event. They state that these birds become victims of predators. The symbolism is obvious, but perhaps this practise should be stopped.
The float represents not only the Pulse massacre but is a reminder of the violence that has been directed historically towards the LGBTI community. However, like the Phoenix the rainbow community will always rise from the ashes – stronger and more beautiful.