It’s been three years since a shooter walked into a Florida gay club and killed 49 people and injured 53.
29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which hosted a Latin night on 12 June 2016.
Three years on, the wounds are still feel fresh for both survivors of the attack and LGBTI people sending their moving tributes.
Brandon Wolf, present on the night of the attack, wrote on Twitter: ‘I remember Pulse vividly. Cold sink water. Deafening gunshots. Tangy smell of blood & smoke. Our last hug.
He then added: ‘June 12. 3 years. The message is the same. Don’t honor them with thoughts & prayers. Or hollow words. Or “we can’t fix it”. They deserve more.’
I remember #Pulse vividly. Cold sink water. Deafening gunshots. Tangy smell of blood & smoke. Our last hug.
June 12. 3 years. The message is the same. Don’t honor them with thoughts & prayers. Or hollow words. Or “we can’t fix it”.
— Brandon Wolf (@bjoewolf) June 12, 2019
Celebrities send heartwarming tributes
Over the course of the day today (12 June), celebrities also posted their tributes to people who lost their lives that night.
One such celebrity is gay actor Wilson Cruz.
‘[Pulse] was a direct attack on the Latino and LGBTQ communities,’ he wrote on Instagram. ‘It was also an attack on my family. We lost our Brenda Marquez McCool.’
He posted a photo of a memorial in Berlin, remembering the LGBTI people killed during World War II.
‘If you’ve never been, when in Berlin, please do,’ he wrote. ‘Within this box is a video of two same gender lovers kissing passionately, an act that is, TODAY, in many places around the world, a life threatening act and an act of defiance.’
Cruz explained after the Pulse attack three years ago, people flooded the site of the memorial with flowers.
View this post on Instagram
More tributes pour in
Other celebrities include Chasten Buttigieg (husband of presidential hopeful Pete), journalist Raquel Willis and politician Beto O’Rourke.
Willis tweeted: ‘As we remember [Pulse], cishets must continuously commit to ending the bigotry that makes that violence possible. That means, in whatever way you can, showing your support.’
O’Rourke tweeted: ‘We honor the 49 lives that were senselessly taken with our actions.’
Three years after Pulse, we honor the 49 lives that were senselessly taken with our actions. With a commitment to ending violence against LGBTQ+ Americans. With a commitment to fighting discrimination. And with a commitment to securing full equality. pic.twitter.com/fgZc4ilgAL
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 12, 2019
Buttigieg wrote on Twitter: ‘We will continue to offer up our prayers and our thoughts to the victims and their loved ones, but it’s simply not enough. I want a country where my community isn’t massacred, where we can dance and exist in peace. I want action.’
These are also just a handful of heartwarming tributes today:
This is from a Guardian Angel theme we did the summer after Pulse. I was working through my fear to help our community feel safe again. For me it was a wake up call that made me who I am today, and reminded me that DragQueens are powerful figures in this world. #NeverForgetPulse pic.twitter.com/eJzmRt0kkJ
— The Vixen (@TheVixensworld) June 12, 2019
When 49 people were murdered at Pulse three years ago, it was an attack on our LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities. Today I’m remembering the victims and their loved ones, and I promise to #HonorThemWithAction by continuing to fight for #GunReformNow. pic.twitter.com/bxrCRLx6bp
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 12, 2019
— The Zakar Twins (@ZakarTwins) June 12, 2019
Countless lives forever changed.
Three years after the Pulse shooting, it’s long past time to act to end the epidemic of gun violence in America. #PrideMonth
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 12, 2019
Today as we remember the 49 people stolen from their friends and family at Pulse Night club we must remember to #HonorThemWithAction
Every single instance of gun violence is another opportunity to make it the last, let’s stop waiting and let’s start working.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) June 12, 2019
Three years ago at #Pulse nightclub, we lost 49 lives to hate. I still hold the pain of this tragedy deep in my heart.
As president, I will end the NRA’s reign & pass gun safety policy to save lives. We can—and we will—build a nation based on love & respect for one another.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 12, 2019
In our work to achieve a future free from hate and fear, we carry with us the memories of the 49 LGBTQ people and allies — nearly all of them Latinx — whose lives were cruelly and senselessly taken at #Pulse on June 12, 2016. #HonorThemWithAction https://t.co/MXntdT3E0k pic.twitter.com/ZFE8KLnLTH
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) June 12, 2019