Since the Pulse tragedy, the Orange County’s Regional History Center has collected and preserved more than 5,000 items, including the 49 Pulse Crosses that were previously on display at Orlando Regional Medical Center. The History Center serves as the repository and caretaker for the physical tribute items, which will continue to be collected and handled with great dignity as part of the One Orlando Collection Initiative. Orange County Government and its Regional History Center established the One Orlando Collection Initiative in partnership with the City of Orlando, the Historical Society of Central Florida and numerous community stakeholders and partners, to preserve history and properly care for the many thousands of tribute items created in response to the tragic loss of life that occurred at Pulse. The Orange County Facilities Management team also worked tirelessly to manage the dignified and careful removal of thousands of deteriorated flowers, candles and broken glass from the memorials. A local uniformed Central Florida Council Boy Scouts of America troop also performed the dignified removal of hundreds of American flags from the Dr. Phillips Center, along with Puerto Rican and other official flags. The flags were properly retired by the American Legion.
All Central Florida sports teams also stood #OrlandoUnited with the community. At Orlando City Soccer Club’s first home game following the tragedy, the team and stadium attendees paid tribute to the 49 victims who lost their lives and Pulse survivors in a pre-match ceremony against the San Jose Earthquakes. The game also featured Major League Soccer’s first-ever moment of silence during the match’s 49th minute. The Orlando Pride, Orlando Magic, Orlando Predators, and Orlando Solar Bears also paid tribute to Pulse victims and survivors during their home games. They also joined forces with Orlando City Soccer Club to fundraise through T-shirt sales and other efforts.
On June 21, Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office and gave employees the Governor’s Medal of Unity.
In July, Mayor Jacobs authored a joint resolution pledging to support efforts to pass legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification. In an effort to make the community inclusive of everyone, Mayor Jacobs initiated a call to action for lawmakers and political leaders by championing the anti-discrimination resolution. The resolution was signed by more than 20 Republican elected officials.
In October, the New Orleans LGBT Hospitality Alliance (NOLHA) and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) presented Orange County’s Regional History Center with a one-of-a-kind New Orleans fleur-de-lis sculpture honoring the victims and families of the Pulse Orlando nightclub tragedy.
On December 12, a twilight remembrance ceremony was held at Orange County’s Regional History Center. The event featured beautiful performances by the Orlando Gay Chorus and the acclaimed Central Florida vocalist, Sisaundra Lewis. City of Orlando Police Chief John Mina and City of Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan addressed attendees, as did Barbara Poma, owner of the Pulse nightclub, and representatives from The Center and the LGBTQ Alliance. The day also marked the unveiling of the Pulse Digital Gallery, located in the first floor alcove of the History Center, and featuring a continuous loop of digital Pulse photos. The digital gallery includes a viewing area. It is free and open to the public during regular History Center operating hours. An online gallery is also available.
Together Orange County will continue to remember the injured, impacted and deceased, to care for their families, friends and loved ones, and to honor the courage, valor and compassion of the countless first and second Pulse tragedy responders.