Here's Some Ways to Remember the 49 Today and Always, From Acts of Kindness to a Virtual Ceremony
Today marks four years since a gunman shot and killed 49 people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Memorials from the ringing of the bells ceremony to the day of love and kindness have gone online this year.
More than 5,000 people have watched the 49 bell ceremony at First United Methodist online this year.
Coordinator Robin Maynard-Harris says the victims’ family members added an extra bell to acknowledge the victims, survivors and first responders of the coronavirus pandemic.
“They really said you know, it's time, it’s time to add this during this pandemic that we can’t get together and hug one another. They understood the many folks that can’t go to funerals.”
She says they’ve seen people from all over the world tune in so far.
"A bell is universal, you know kind of like a hug. And that's why we say this is what love sounds like. A bell resounding can penetrate the heart and doesn’t matter what spoken word is said.”
One Orlando Alliance Director Jennifer Foster said the Day of Love and Kindness is also virtual this year-with volunteering centered around the COVID-19 response.
Foster says victims' families put together a list of 49 ways to spread love and kindness from donating blood to calling a friend.
“You know, kindness in some ways means being respectful of others when you’re out in spaces. You know wear a mask, be gentle with yourself, take care of yourself. Take care of others around you."
The onePULSE foundation will stream its ceremony on Facebook and YouTube at 7 pm. It is available in both English and Spanish.
Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered flags be flown at half-staff today throughout the state of Florida.
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