Pulse collection displayed for final day at Orange Co. History Center
Collection open to public for free until 5 p.m.
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County Regional History Center opened its doors this week for free, so that the community could view some of more than 5,000 items that were collected from memorial across Orlando in the months following the Pulse nightclub attack.
The items were viewed in a special exhibit as the City Beautiful marked one year since the tragedy.
People were taking advantage of the opportunity to see the "One Orlando Collection" Saturday morning on its last day being exhibited free of charge to the public.
Many people said that as soon as they walked through the history center’s doors, so many emotions came rushing back, including the love and support the community continues to feel even a year later.
News 6’s Amanda Castro went to the history center to see a few of the items that show how the Orlando community has found some purpose in its pain.
She said music echoed down the hallway of the history center, but where the collection was on display, there was complete silence as people reflected on the past year.
"It's just a little overwhelming to see it all. I think what really got me was seeing pictures and people I knew. It's a lot to remember," visitor Neal Sagen said.
The exhibit illustrates a timeline of the days, weeks and months after the nightclub attack that left 49 people dead and dozens of others injured, showcasing items collected from memorial sites across Orlando.
From rosaries and handwritten notes to portraits of the victims and the 49 crosses left at Orlando Health, the collection represents how the community and the world responded after the tragedy.
"It's amazing what can happen if you pull together,” visitor Cathy Andrews said.
But one visitor said it was tough to stop by Saturday as he remembered his last interaction with Pulse victim Cory Connell, who worked at the Publix in College Park.
"Last thing I say to Cory was, 'Hey we're out of cottage cheese,'” Bill Jennings said. “That was my last comment with him and he went back and brought out cottage cheese. I still laugh about that."
The collection exhibits the best of humanity in Orlando’s darkest time and will preserve how the city became "Orlando United" for generations to come.
"I don't know how they picked what they put on display here, but it's an impressive job," Neal said.
History center officials told News 6 that the exhibit will close at 5 p.m. Saturday, and once it’s over, all of the items will return to storage.
Officials also said they're still collecting and cataloging items with plans to eventually create a long-term collection.
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