By Monday, June 13, 2016 – just a day after the Pulse shooting – a makeshift memorial started to take shape on Orlando Health’s downtown campus. The corner of Orange Avenue, and Miller Street, where the Orlando Health sign greets patients and visitors, quickly became a place to remember and honor the victims. Each day, the memorial – just a short walk from the Emergency department – grew as friends, family members, team members and the community stopped by to pay tribute.
Retired carpenter, Greg Zanis, from Illinois traveled more than 1,000 miles to deliver his 49 handmade crosses to Orlando. The 49 crosses, one for each victim, lined the sidewalk along Lake Beauty on the Orlando Health downtown campus. In the days following the Pulse tragedy, these crosses were decorated with flowers, photos, and messages from friends, family and strangers alike. Permanent caretaking of the crosses has been entrusted to the Orange County Regional History Center.
In late September of 2016, Orlando Health unveiled the Pulse Memorial Garden, featuring 49 limestone pavers that bear the names of the victims.
We hope the memorial garden will serve as a source of healing and remembrance for the families who lost loved ones, community members who have grieved for the innocent victims and offered support, and for the Orlando Health team members who provided care, comfort and support to patients, family members and each other during this difficult time.
The Memorial Paver Garden is near where 49 white crosses sat on the edge of Lake Beauty, and behind the Orlando Health sign on Orange Avenue.
In this time of profound sadness for our Orlando community, we take a moment to pause and recognize all those who responded to the call for help during and after the events of the early morning hours of June 12, 2016.
From first responders to our own Orlando Regional Medical Center Level One Trauma and support teams, to our fellow healthcare colleagues from around the nation, to LGBTQ, Hispanic and faith organizations, to businesses and community resource centers, to our local, state and national governments; to the many individuals and organizations from around our country and the world who have come together to aid the victims and families, and who have offered their sympathy and support to our Orlando Health family and our “City Beautiful...” thank you.
One year after the tragedy, a remembrance event was held for team members A plaque, which now hangs near the trauma bay in the ORMC Emergency Department was presented; it reads: In honor of the Orlando Regional Medical Center Team who cared for those during the early morning hours of June 12, 2016. And in recognition of the Orlando Health family who cares for our community and each other this day and every day. Dedicated June 12, 2017.
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