It’s been six years since American gunman Omar Mateen launched a murderous assault on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Despite increasing gun violence throughout the country, the Pulse Massacre remains the largest mass shooting in modern American history–49 people lost their lives and 53 more were seriously wounded.
Rob Domenico, a board member of The Center Orlando, said “absolute devastation” was felt across Orlando‘s LGBTQ community. “We need to put the ‘unity’ back in ‘community’ and to stand up, to show love and compassion to those going through this horrible travesty.”
Cities across the globe heard that call, demonstrating the true resilience and global solidarity of our LGBTQ community in the face of violence and hate.
Days after the shooting, mourners gathered in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to light memorial candles as others stood with photographs of victims. Hundreds of gay rights organizations worldwide organized vigils, protests, and memorials in the wake of the mass shooting in 2016.
In an emotional speech at a vigil in Los Angeles, singer Lady Gaga, a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community, held back tears while reading the names of the dead.
The names of our fallen community members:
Stanley Almodovar III, Amanda Alvear, Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, Alejandro Barrios Martinez, Martin Benitez Torres, Antonio D. Brown, Darryl R. Burt II, Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, Angel L. Candelario-Padro, Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, Juan Chevez-Martinez, Luis D. Conde, Cory J. Connell, Tevin E. Crosby, Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, Deonka D. Drayton, Mercedez M. Flores, Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, Juan R. Guerrero, Paul T. Henry, Frank Hernandez, Miguel A. Honorato, Javier Jorge-Reyes, Jason B. Josaphat, Eddie J. Justice, Anthony L. Laureano Disla, Christopher A. Leinonen, Brenda L. Marquez McCool, Jean C. Mendez Perez, Akyra Monet Murray, Kimberly Morris, Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, Joel Rayon Paniagua, Enrique L. Rios Jr., Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, Christopher J. Sanfeliz, Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, Edward Sotomayor Jr., Shane E. Tomlinson, Leroy Valentin Fernandez, Luis S. Vielma, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, Jerald A. Wright.
New York City
A woman paused while writing the names of Pulse Massacre shooting victims in chalk on the sidewalk at a park across from The Stonewall Inn on June 13, 2016, in New York City.
Stonewall Inn, NYC
Thousands of New Yorkers joined the vigil outside Manhattan’s historic Stonewall Inn to express their support for Orlando and mourn the lives lost. Not only is the Pulse Massacre the largest mass shooting in modern American history, but it is also considered the biggest terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11.
A picture taken on June 13, 2016, shows onlookers at the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris as it is illuminated in rainbow colours.
As some may recall, this iconic structure and its surrounding grass fields played host to the Euro World Cup in 2016. It was estimated that hundreds of thousands of Europeans traveled to the City of Light at this time for the event, in addition to Paris’ usual summer visitors, undoubtedly bearing witness to this homage.
Flags were lowered to half staff on the Washington Monument grounds to honor those killed by the lone 29-year-old gunman. Former President Obama ordered flags to be lowered on all government buildings throughout the capital city.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Brazilian activists filled the night air with the colors of Pride at a vigil in Sao Paulo.
The evening following the shooting, Australians illuminated the Sydney Harbour Bridge with rainbow colors to stand with Orlando. These were truly shots heard ’round the world.
South Koreans gathered in downtown Seoul during a candlelight vigil to remember victims.
June 12, 2022, marks the sixth anniversary of this devastating attack. Though time marches on, we will never forget the spirit of Pulse Nightclub, beating in our hearts.