Orlando, Florida – Five years ago, 49 families learned that their mother, father, siblings, and friends would not return home after a gunman fired at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
Each of the 49 people killed on June 12, 2016 (now known as the 49 angels) left a legacy.
To celebrate their memory, News 6 journalists have compiled stories learned about all victims through interviews, news articles and social media. All 49 articles can be found at ClickOrlando.com / Pulse49.
[WATCH: News 6 special on Pulse]
Prior to their sacrifice, 49 were mothers, fathers, recent graduates, veterans, breast cancer survivors, dreamers, artists and more.
Those stories include 33-year-old Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala was known by her friends as “Rody”. Ayala was a platelet supervisor at One Blood, a center that collected blood donations for many pulse-shooting survivors.
“He was the sweetest and most real person. (He) takes care of everyone and does anything for you, and he will be terribly missed here,” said One Blood’s production director. One Kelly Gorat said after his death.
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, is the mother of 11 children who often beat cancer twice and went dancing with her son at the Pulse Nightclub. She was in a nightclub with her son Isaiah Henderson on June 12, 2016.
Best of all, Jason Benjamin Josafat, 19, dreamed of traveling the world after earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
“He will just look at you and laugh,” said his mother, Marland Bebe. “He loves to smile. He just had fun.”
Two days after the shooting, a colleague and friend of Lewis S. Bierma at Universal Studios Orlando raised a cane near Hogwarts Castle in honor of 22 years old. He was studying at Seminole State University to become a physiotherapy assistant.
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35, was on stage. In a YouTube video that has been watched thousands of times, Rosad gracefully glides through the Orlando Parliament stage with a leather cloak and top hat to entertain the audience.
Five years after the shooting, the OnePulse Foundation was founded to honor victims and support survivors and their families through a variety of means.
The 49 Scholarship Program works with murdered families and loved ones to award scholarships to those who “embody love, hope, unity, courage, and unconditional acceptance”.
Scholarships respect the legacy of the victims.
The Healthcare Scholarship is named in honor of Stanley Almodovar III, an avid supporter of the LGBTQ + community, and the Nursing Scholarship is named after Amanda Lizzette Alvear, who dreamed of becoming a nurse.
This week, the US Senate resolved to make the former nightclub location a national monument. The OnePulse Foundation is planning a reflective area, memorial and museum in the SoDo area of Orlando.
Click here to read about all 49 angels.
Copyright 2021 by WKMG Click Orlando- All rights reserved.
Recall Pulse 49: Read Their Story
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