WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Monday marked the one-year anniversary since the deadliest mass shooting in our history. It happened at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando. Forty nine people were killed in the attack and 53 others were injured.
Monday, thousands attended memorial services across the country to remember those lives lost. A service was also held in Wichita’s Old Town Square.
Speakers urged peace and unity, especially for the LGBTQ community which was targeted in the attack.
The shooting last year impacted Jackie Carter, Pastor at Table of Hope Metropolitan Community Church.
“This young man, Luis Vielma, is the nephew of my best friend who lives in Orlando,” said Carter.
Carter says she never met Vielma personally but has learned more about him through his death.
“He was in the night club, he was killed, he left a family, a mother and a father and two siblings,” said Carter.
Carter was one of about 50 people who turned out in Old Town to remember the victims of the shooting.
Candles were lit as each name of the 49 lives that were lost was read.
The Wichita Police Department was in attendance to show their support for the LGBTQ community.
“I would challenge each one of you this evening for the next year or two to try to perform 49 acts of kindness or love for someone else,” said Deputy Chief Troy Livingston.
Those, like Carter, stressed the importance gathering on the one-year anniversary served.
“The importance is that we cannot forget, we cannot let hate win, we must continue to be vigilant, we must continue to work for equality and justice for all
people,” said Carter.
The Wichita Police Departments LGBTQ liaisons also turned out for the event.
The officers serve to make sure the LGBTQ community is treated fairly, equally and with dignity.