GULFPORT, Florida— The city of Gulfport joined with other communities across Florida Monday to celebrate and remember the lives of the 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting one year earlier.
City Councilmember Yolanda Roman organized the gathering which included a visit from State Senator Darryl Rouson who spoke about remembering those who lost their lives on June 12, 2016.
“Today we honor them, their memories, their lives—real human beings who were snuffed out too early,” said Rouson addressing the crowd gathered outside the Gulfport Public Library.
Participants lit candles as the 49 names were read out loud. Participants were invited up to the microphone to share their feelings and emotions about the day.
For the second year in a row, local artist Jo Silverleaf commissioned a painting in memory of the victims. The first piece was given by the Gulfport City Council to the City of Orlando and is currently on display in Orlando City Hall.
A second piece created this year has rainbow colored jagged lines visualizing the human pulse and will be kept local to be put on display in the Gulfport City Hall.
Other local ceremonies were held Monday in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota.