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Orlando unites to reject the hatred that killed 49 young people in Pulse nightclub

The city of Orlando today honored the 49 people who lost their lives in the massacre perpetrated a year ago at the gay club Pulse with a message of unity and rejection of hate.

The commemorative acts began last night with a vigil in Pulse that extended until the hours of the dawn, the same in which exactly one year ago occurred the until now greater slaughter with firearm of the recent history of the USA.

Hours later relatives and friends of the victims, survivors and policemen who participated in the operation that killed the murderer, Afghan-American Omar Mateen, gathered in the same place, which in the 365 days has become A memorial.

“Love wins” was one of the most chanted statements during the ceremony in which they received special mention the uniformed and the paramedics who attended the victims of the bullets that Matteen shot right and left on June 12, 2016.

Forty-nine people were killed and more than 50 wounded in what the authorities consider a terrorist act, as Mateen said he was acting on behalf of the Islamic State.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in his speech today that it is a day with a “high purpose” to honor the victims, family, friends and survivors, in his view an example of the “love that always defeats hatred “.

The same message that preaches the Puerto Rican Jose Ramirez, who was that night at the club and lost there to 12 of his friends.

In his opinion, if someone had embraced Mateen in time and said “I love you just the way you are,” your friends would still be alive.

But Ramírez, who suffers from the syndrome of post-traumatic stress, told Efe that he has not felt safe for a year and thinks that “anywhere, anyone can go crazy.”

“Now, no matter what, it does not matter if someone closes a door hard and makes a hard noise. For me it’s not a door, they’re shots: bum-bum-bum-bum-bum,” he explained.

The Orlando Gay Choir was responsible for one of the most emotional moments of the act when singing “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten and “True Colors” by Cindy Lauper, one of the hymns of the LGBT community (Lesbians, Gays , Bisexuals and Transsexuals).

Subsequently, in the rain, the names of the 49 mortal victims, mostly Hispanic and especially Puerto Rican, were read, because that dawn was celebrated in Pulse the Latin night.

The Cuban Orquidea Martinez, mother of Alejandro Barrios, one of the dead in Pulse, told Efe that he asks life to “end this hatred,” because “each one chooses his way in life.”

Martinez said that every time he visits Orlando he relives “everything again” and it is “very difficult” to bear his memories, which is why a good number of survivors of the massacre have preferred not to participate in the commemorative events.

Many others were on the vigil today to remind the victims at the same time that hell began inside Pulse.

At 02.02 local time (6.02 GMT) on June 12, 2016, Orlando Police received the first emergency calls warning of the shots inside the club.

During the three-hour stay at the club with some 30 hostages, Mateen, who died at the scene of the shooting by police, said he was acting on behalf of the Islamic State.

However, researchers have also shuffled from the beginning that it could be about a hate crime against the Latino community or the LGBTQ.

Those close to the victims and survivors will return tonight to Pulse for another vigil, although before attending the ceremony “Orlando is Love: Remembering Our Angels”.

The Puerto Rican singer Olga Tañón will perform at that ceremony, which is part of the events of “Orlando United Day, Day of Love and Kindness”.

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