A group of young men and women who were members of a gay bar in Orlando who were among the hundreds of people killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting have been recognized by a city that has seen some of the worst violence in the U.S. in decades.
A group of 20 people were honored at a city-sponsored ceremony Saturday at Orlando City Hall, where the victims were recognized for their bravery.
The award for bravery came as the city, reeling from the worst mass shooting in U.M. history, grappled with the question of how to ensure that such events do not happen again.
City officials were still trying to figure out how to memorialize the victims, who were not identified and were buried in a mass grave at the Pulse, a popular gay bar, that was a target of the shooting spree.
“They were the bravest men and the braviest women that I’ve ever known in my life,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said of the victims at the ceremony.
Mayor Dyer, who was born in Orlando, said he was proud of the work of the police and other first responders.
We have not seen this kind of community coming together to make it possible, Mayor Dyer told reporters after the ceremony, noting that he is not a supporter of the Orlando City Council or the Democratic Party.
We’re all in this together. “
We need to work with them.
We’re all in this together.
I’m going to be honest with you.
On Friday, Dyer issued a statement saying he was disappointed in the Mayor’s reaction, but that he was “proud of the men who risked their lives to save others.” “
But we can’t begrudge the courage of the first responders, the men and girls who came forward with their lives, their dignity, their life,” he said.
On Friday, Dyer issued a statement saying he was disappointed in the Mayor’s reaction, but that he was “proud of the men who risked their lives to save others.”
Dyer said he will work with the City Council to work together to ensure Orlando does not have another mass shooting.
Dyers statement said, “In the past, I have made it clear that Orlando City cannot be a safe, welcoming place.
We cannot allow the tragedy in Orlando to define the future of our city.
City Councilwoman Diane Black, a Democrat, said she was heartened by the award and said she hoped it could spur more support for the city’s LGBT community.””
In addition to all of the other actions I have taken over the past several days, I will work closely with the Orlando Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol to help us better ensure the safety and security of our residents, businesses and visitors.”
City Councilwoman Diane Black, a Democrat, said she was heartened by the award and said she hoped it could spur more support for the city’s LGBT community.
“I think the recognition is really important,” she said.
It’s not just a gay community. “
This is a community that is very resilient, very inclusive and very strong.
It’s not just a gay community.
This is a very diverse community.”
A spokeswoman for the City of Orlando, Barbara Babbitt, said the city is “deeply saddened” by the mass shooting, adding, “We are committed to supporting the victims’ families and the Orlando community through this difficult time.”
Babbitt said the City will host a memorial service on Monday.
Officials with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office will also be at the event, and the city has set up a fund for victims’ funeral expenses.
For the past six years, Orlando has hosted the “Love is Love” festival, which brings together gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in celebration of LGBT pride.