Post submitted by Michael Toumayan, former HRC Senior Religion and Faith Program Manager

Families of Pulse victims are asking churches to toll their bells 49 times on Monday, June 12, to commemorate the 49 innocent victims of the Pulse Orlando shooting one year ago.

“Bells are sacred. We toll them for death and we ring them for celebration,” said Maria Wright, mother of Jerry Wright, who died at Pulse. “Many faith traditions use bells as they resound within our innermost being.”

On June 12, 2016, a deadly attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando claimed the lives of 49 people -- most of them young, LGBTQ and Latinx. Now, one year later, people around the country are working to honor their memory.

One Orlando Alliance, an advisory group comprised of community leaders, family members, and local LGBTQ groups, is spearheading the 49 Bells movement to pay tribute to loved ones taken that day.

“As parents, we don’t want our children to be forgotten, and most importantly, we would love the support of spreading love, not hate, as a message for humankind,” said Mayra Alvear, mother of Amanda Alvear, who was also killed at Pulse.

More than 100 churches from five countries have pledged to join the somber chorus at noon on June 12.

To sign up your church, click here.

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