Pulse ceremony spreads a message of love in the face of terror

49 victims honored in a day of remembrance
Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 00:31:15-04

Even before the last bullet was fired from a madman’s gun, the city of Orlando’s been struggling to overcome the pain and suffering that somehow has united the city.

Every person ABC Action News talked to about the Pulse nightclub shooting and the year that’s followed wanted the world to know that quite simply, “love conquers hate.”

Buildings lit up in rainbow colors, faces painted with rainbows, and fountains proudly displaying the colors of love are all symbolic to what the city has become, a united front against terror.

“Love always wins no matter what,” Erangelis Santiago said. “We are white, black, Hispanic, whatever color, love always wins and that's the message I want to get out.”

Santiago was at Pulse the night of the shooting. She said she was with her wife and her in-laws celebrating her birthday. Santiago said they all left minutes before the shooting started. Santiago said she went back to the nightclub for the first time this week.

“I'm still shaking, yesterday we went there, and I couldn't handle it and it brings me back all the memories,” Santiago said. “Like being around all of them and suddenly hours later they are gone. That was our own safe haven. God took us out of there just in time.”

The 49 innocent victims are now remembered as angels. At the ceremony at Lake Eola Amphitheater there were 49 people dressed in all white with angel wings to honor the victims.  

GALLERY: Remembering the 49 innocent victims of the Pulse attack

“Our tears have turned into love in Orlando,” said Sister Koochie Koo who is part of the non-profit group called the Orlando Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. “It's still a process. It's still a process we are all going through. Everyday, we are all going through it.”

At the end of the ceremony all 49 victims’ names were read out loud to the crowd:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda L. Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A. Aracena Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernández, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter Ommy Gonzalez Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Jean Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodríguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan Pablo Rivera Velázquez, 37 years old

Luis Sergio Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velázquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old