On June 12 49 people were killed, and at least 53 more were recorded injured in one of America’s deadliest mass shootings. The shooting took place in a LGBTQ nightclub called Pulse early Sunday morning leaving the world to mourn. But before the gloom could set in the world stood to support the community having currently raised over 3.5 million dollars from various organizations, and individuals. Vigils have been put together around the world to show love and support, and Daniel Freeman continued that support in the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Just two days after the shooting Ypsilanti resident Daniel Freeman put together a vigil that took place downtown at the Ypsilanti Public Library. Freeman only expected 20 of his friends to show up, but over 200 people came to share messages of love and support.
The audience participated in a moment of silence, and lit candles to mourn and acknowledge both the living and the loss of life. They also wrote messages in chalk of love, hope, and resilience to pay their respect.
Shalisa Goodman was one of the allies present, and she was born and raised in Orlando. Goodman has only lived in Ypsilanti for 2 years and still has a strong connection to Orlando. Two of her friends were directly affected by the shooting.
“The only thing we can do is spread love and rally together. We need to recognize each other every day not just in tragedy, and love each other every day,” said Goodman.
There is controversy surrounding this tragedy to determine whether the shooting should be labeled terrorism or labeled a hate crime because of the shooters background and affiliation, but no determining facts have been reported. A hate crime is motivated by racial, sexual or other prejudice, and terrorism is motivated by political gain.
“I feel it is a hate crime but everything is still unfolding so it’s hard to label it anything but a horrific mass murder,” said Freeman.
EMU student body president, Tanasia Morton, and vice president, Josh Starr came to the vigil to support, and left us with, “people should do whatever they can because attacks like this always hit home, and also educate yourself and vote because there is a need for policy change.”
The attendees of the ceremony were people from all walks of life a representation of all the different people affected by the shooting. Speakers at the vigil consisted of Lisa Cardenas a contender for Michigan’s 54th district state representative, Sam Jones Darling a member of EMU government and LGBTQ activist, also a 12-year-old girl that brought the audience to tears, and many more speakers that showed love and support.
“This is more than just a LGBTQ issue it is a human rights issue, so we have to bring the world together,” said Freeman.
There will also be a vigil held Wednesday June 15 at St. Luke’s church in Ypsilanti at 7:30 pm.