Church remembers Pulse nightclub shooting victims

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- A church in Gainesville held a ceremony to remember the three-year anniversary of a hate crime in Orlando that took the lives of 49 people.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville held a ceremony to show solidarity for the families of the victims who died at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Interim Minister Cathy Harrington rang a singing bowl 49 times and read the names of each victim.

Harrington said the church has been fighting for LGBTQ rights since the 1980s and she wanted to make sure they showed their support to the community.

“It has been said that people die two deaths,” Harrington said. “The first death is when their body and their spirit leaves the earth and the second death is when people stop remembering them and telling their stories.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis acknowledged June 12 as "Pulse Remembrance Day" in Florida and ordered all flags in the state to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset to remember the victims.

“We do it—I think for me—to remember that these were human beings and to remind us to not become numb to the ongoing violence in our nation,” Harrington said."

In August, the church will welcome a new minister who is transgender.