Memorial to be held for Pulse massacre in Church-Wellesley Village
Sandie Benitah, CP24.com
Published Monday, June 12, 2017 10:25AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 12, 2017 10:37AM EDT
Toronto’s Village will be holding a memorial tonight honouring 49 people shot dead during Orlando’s Pulse nightclub massacre last year.
The memorial is being hosted by The 519, a Toronto agency that serves as Canada’s largest LGBTQ support centre.
“LGBTQ2S communities around the world were confronted with the reality that racism and homo-, bi- and transphobia still exist,” says a 519 release about the event. “Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, became the target of violence resulting in the deaths of 49 people, many of whom belonging to our Latinx community.”
The event will take place at Barbara Hall Park on Church Street between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
As part of the memorial, The 519 plans to unveil a piece of art in the community, which was created by local queer feminist Latina artist Janet Romero-Leiva.
Toronto is one of many cities taking part in memorial events today for the mass shooting.
Overnight Monday, hundreds of people gathered outside Pulse as the names of each person killed was read aloud at 2:02 a.m. – the exact time when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire inside the crowded nightclub on June 12, 2016.
Pulse was a well-known gay nightclub in downtown Orlando.
Mateen pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State during the shooting before he himself was shot dead by police.
His wife, Noor Salman, has also been charged in the case. She has pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting, as well as obstruction.
The Pulse massacre is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.