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Orlando still united: 5 acts of kindness at Pulse memorial

Orlando honors victims killed in 2016 mass shooting

A visitor places flowers at the Pulse memorial on June 12, 2018, the two year anniversary of the shooting where 49 people were killed. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)
A visitor places flowers at the Pulse memorial on June 12, 2018, the two year anniversary of the shooting where 49 people were killed. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Earlier this month, Orlando honored the 49 people killed in the Pulse shooting, marking the second year since the tragedy at the gay nightclub.

People traveled from all over the U.S. to be at the Pulse memorial on June 12, each with their own connection to the nightclub or victims and survivors.

Throughout the day as people flocked to the temporary memorial on South Orange Avenue, to remember the victims and support the more than 50 people injured, they brought acts of kindness with them.

[STORY: 49 Days of Acts of Love and Kindness wraps up on two-year mark of Pulse attack]

Using art to unify

Two of the four Kimball sisters, of Orlando, passed out hand-colored rainbows ahead of the Pulse shooting remembrance ceremony on June 12, 2018. The sisters have given out more than 30,000 hearts since the tragedy at Pulse to show that "Love Always Wins."

Two of the Kimball sisters, of Orlando, passed out hand-colored rainbows ahead of the Pulse shooting remembrance ceremony on June 12, 2018.
Two of the Kimball sisters, of Orlando, passed out hand-colored rainbows ahead of the Pulse shooting remembrance ceremony on June 12, 2018.

Meanwhile, Melissa and Lori King, of Volusia County, painted artwork on rocks featuring images of all 49 victims of the Pulse shooting inside the Wendy's across from the Pulse memorial.

Melissa King said the rocks serve as a common bond for people, because "a rock is part of Earth and many religions leave rocks at gravesites."

Melissa and Lori King, of Volusia County, paint artwork on rocks on June 12, 2018 in honor of the 49 victims of the Pulse shooting inside the Wendy's across from the Pulse memorial. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)
Melissa and Lori King, of Volusia County, paint artwork on rocks on June 12, 2018 in honor of the 49 victims of the Pulse shooting inside the Wendy's across from the Pulse memorial. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)

"You can't help but be happy painting a rock," Melissa King says.

The Kings gifted their artwork to families and friends of the victims and left them as offerings around the new memorial site.

The couple were also carrying a sign offering "Free hugs."

Lori King shows examples of the artwork she and her wife, Melissa King, painted on rocks for each of the 49 victims killed on June 12, 2016 in the shooting. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)
Lori King shows examples of the artwork she and her wife, Melissa King, painted on rocks for each of the 49 victims killed on June 12, 2016 in the shooting. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)

Donating flowers and giving out water

Employees of the Dr. Phillips Trader Joe’s brought about 200 bouquets of flowers and cases of water to the Pulse memorial for the 2 year anniversary.

The employees told News 6 they spoke to their managers about the idea ahead of the anniversary, and they were very supportive to donating the items.

“We wanted to do something," an employee told News 6.

The bright flowers filled the fence around the memorial site by the time the remembrance ceremony began.

Employees of the Dr. Phillips Trader Joe’s brought about 200 bouquets of flowers and cases of water to the Pulse memorial for the two year anniversary. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)
Employees of the Dr. Phillips Trader Joe’s brought about 200 bouquets of flowers and cases of water to the Pulse memorial for the two year anniversary. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)

Giving out hugs

Multiple people were carrying signs like the one below offering up a hug. It's not that often you see complete strangers embracing, but at the memorial event there were plenty of hugs all around.

People were giving out hugs and inspirational quotes at the second anniversary of the Pulse shooting on June 12, 2018. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)
People were giving out hugs and inspirational quotes at the second anniversary of the Pulse shooting on June 12, 2018. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)

VoluntEARs at Pulse

Disney provided all of the volunteers, or "VoluntEARS," at the Pulse memorial for the second anniversary. Amanda Campau was one of them. She said she wanted to be there for the anniversary because she used to frequent the club and lost three friends the night of the shooting.

"I couldn't sign up enough," Campau said about opting to volunteer at Pulse.

VoluntEARS were at the new temporary memorial to answer any questions visitors had about displays or the tragedy itself.

Walt Disney World President George A. Kalogridis serves as the vice chairman on the onePULSE Foundation memorial board of trustees.

Amanda Campau is a Disney employee and VoluntEAR who volunteered at the Pulse memorial on the 2nd anniversary of the mass shooting. Disney is providing all of the volunteers at the memorial. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)
Amanda Campau is a Disney employee and VoluntEAR who volunteered at the Pulse memorial on the 2nd anniversary of the mass shooting. Disney is providing all of the volunteers at the memorial. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)

Therapy dogs

After the Pulse shooting, several groups would bring certified therapy dogs to makeshift memorial sites.

That tradition has continued on the anniversary of the tragedy, including those who may not have certified dogs but know the healing power of petting a puppy.

Leo, a German shepard mix, was at the Pulse two-year anniversary with his owner, who said he knew people might need a soft-furry, face to help momentarily ease their sadness.

Throughout the day there were about a dozen therapy dogs and their handlers at the temporary memorial site.

[PHOTO GALLERY: Images from the Pulse memorial on the 2 year anniversary]

Leo, a German Shepard mix, sits in some ice and cools off on the Pulse 2nd anniversary at the temporary memorial. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)
Leo, a German Shepard mix, sits in some ice and cools off on the Pulse 2nd anniversary at the temporary memorial. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)

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