Doves were released from the float, each representing an innocent life.
For over 100 years The Tournament of Roses Parade has been ringing in the new year with beautiful floats adorned with stunning floral designs, and this year they added a new aspect honoring the innocent victims of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy.
A float Commissioned by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Impulse Group United released 49 doves into the sky in memory of the innocent lives lost to a lone gunman who entered the club and opened fire, killing 49 people on June 12, 2016.
The structure was titled “To Honor and Remember Orlando,” and featured two rainbows and a large dove leading the way through the parade, taking flight from a large oak tree where condolences hang.
Jahqui Sevilla, Victor Baez Febo and Isaiah Henderson who survived that fateful night rode atop the float along with community activists and owner of Pulse Barbara Poma.
Impulse Group Orlando’s Corey Lyons said it was a privilege to take part in the memorial float, honoring those who were killed, wounded and their families.
He adds, “However, we must not lose sight of the fact that this beautiful float also serves as a solemn and sacred reminder to millions of parade viewers around the world that the stigma and discrimination that led to this attack are not over – the fight goes on, and we must be vigilant in speaking out and speaking out against such bigotry, hatred and injustice.”
Ged Kenslea, spoke on behalf of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation:
“It’s bitter sweet because I think we’d all rather be focusing on another topic, but this is our way of honoring the lives we lost along with sending a message of resilience."