In 2017, as the one-year remembrance of the tragedy approached, mothers of the victims launched an effort to find 49 churches around the world willing to toll their bells 49 times in honor of those taken. In response, 323 churches in 9 countries tolled their bells as the City of Orlando and the Orange County Government announced the dedication of June 12, 2017 as “Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness. The occasion recognizes and reaffirms the community’s commitment to the Pulse survivors, family members of the victims and their loves ones, in addition to recognizing an outpour of global compassion and love displayed in the wake of the tragedy. We continued to grow the movement in 2018 and are looking forward to more entities affirming and recognizing in 2019.
“As parents, we don’t want our children to be forgotten, and most importantly, we would love the support of spreading love, not hate, as a message for humankind.” said Mayra Alvear, mother of Amanda Alvear, who was only 25 when she lost her life during the Pulse Shootings.
“Bells are sacred. We toll them for death and we ring them for celebration,” said Maria Wright, mother of Jerry Wright, 31 at the time he was tragically killed at Pulse Orlando. “Many faith traditions use bells as they resound within our innermost being.” With a clear and dedicated mission to honor the 49 victims, a letter has been written to the Pope and other interfaith organizations throughout the world, asking churches to honor the 49 innocent lives taken at Pulse with their bells.
You may leave a message of support to the loved ones of those affected by the Pulse tragedy in the comments section below. Show them the world cares, their loved ones matter and they are not forgotten.