This holiday now honors the memory of citizens lost in the 2015 tragedy at Pulse nightclub
The City of Orlando and Orange County Government, in collaboration with Pulse Nightclub, have jointly designated June 12, 2017 as “Orlando United Day—A Day of Love and Kindness.” A proud member of the Orlando community, the American College for Medical Careers joined in honoring the memory of the 49 innocent Pulse victims who were killed on this day in 2015, by supporting survivors and recognizing the compassion and love that was displayed by the Central Florida community following the tragedy.
“Orlando United Day is an opportunity to join with others in acts of love and kindness, to continue the unity that followed the tragedy,” says Campus Director Marsha-Ann Burrell. “Engaging in these activities on June 12 is a respectful and loving way to remember and honor the lives of those taken and to show compassion to those who need support.”
On June 12, which fell on a Monday this year, ACMC students, instructors, and staff were invited show their pride and demonstrate their unity and solidarity with the victims and their families and loved ones. “We invited them to wear something that made them feel pride,” says Burrell. Some wore shirts that paid tribute to Orlando United, LGBTQ pride, or the military. Others wore rainbow-themed make-up and bracelets.
The school’s five student ambassadors—Shauna Deshong, Legna Diaz, Karla Castillo Andino, Maria Gaspar, and Samantha Smith, who all are in the medical assisting program—took time to contribute to Orlando United Day by making bags of candy and selling them (for a dollar each). On June 13, the group used the funds to purchase flowers and took them to the Pulse memorial site. Currently a wall in front of the nightclub, the site will eventually become a permanent memorial and museum.
“The initial purpose of the event,” says Burrell, “was simply to show appreciation for each other and recognize that, though we are all different, we are all here for one purpose! Here in Orlando, we are Orlando United.”