Local organizations will remember the 49 lives lost at the Pulse Nightclub in 2016 with a fifth annual outdoor memorial service to kick off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, on the 300 block of North Main Street, outside the Bistro, in downtown Bloomington.
Prairie Pride Coalition (PPC), McLean County Moms Demand Action, and the Bistro are cosponsors of the event that seeks to raise awareness of gun violence and its disproportionate effect on minority communities including the LGBTQIA+ and Latinx populations.
“Gun safety is very clearly an LGBTQIA and Latinx issue, and the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub centered the inescapable reality of gun violence on the LGBTQIA community,” said Donna Walley with McLean County Moms Demand Action. “Our commitment to action does not end with working to uproot the hatred displayed five years ago. We must also confront our country’s gun violence epidemic by demanding more than thoughts and prayers from our lawmakers,” she added.
The event will include 49 youth volunteers holding signs with names of the people lost on June 12, 2016, when a shooter entered the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and produced the deadliest incident in the history of violence against the LGBTQ community. Fifty-three additional people were injured that evening in an act that also targeted the Latinx community.
The memorial also will recognize the efforts of first responders – law enforcement officials, paramedics, firefighters – who quickly responded at the scene, tended to the wounded, and prevented further loss of life. Local first responders have been invited to attend.
Face coverings, sanitizer, and information about the co-sponsoring organizations and supportive organizations will be available at the memorial. The memorial will be livestreamed on PPC’s Facebook page.
The memorial is part of a full lineup of activities to commemorate June Pride Month. For a complete schedule of activities, contact PPC at [email protected].