Pulse gay club shooting survivors meet Parkland school shooting survivors

Survivors from two Florida mass shootings had a poignant meeting this week.

Forty-nine people died at Orlando’s Pulse gay club during a horrific mass shooting in June 2016, when a gunman opened fire at the crowd. At the time it was the most deadly mass shooting in recent US history, though it has since been surpassed.

Survivors of the Pulse massacre this week met with students and families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people died following a mass shooting last month.

The group of Parkland survivors met with the Pulse survivors during a stop in Orlando, on their journey back to Parkland following speaking engagements.

The two groups stood together as the names of the 66 victims of both mass shootings were read aloud, before the Parkland survivors hung 49 white roses – one for each of the Pulse victims – from the fence surrounding the Pulse site.

(Photo: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer)

Pulse survivors wore shirts that bore the slogan ‘We Will Not Let Hate Win’, while Parkland survivors wore shirts that read ‘Kids First, Politics Second’.

One Pulse survivor said: “We’re here to open our arms and welcome them with love.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said: “We share their grief and their concern. Two years ago, the entire world reached out to us in here in Orlando with thoughts and prayers. We want to pay that back as much as we can.”

Dyer said he supported gun control, telling the Orlando Sentinel: “If the shooter in the case in Parkland had not been able to purchase that weapon during the course of the last two years, he could not have carried out the act that he did.

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