ORLANDO, Fla. – On the eve of the fourth year since the attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, community members, and churches around the world will honor the lives lost virtually this year.
"In the last 4 years, we have seen growth we have seen some change through the acts of love and kindness movement," Robin Maynard-Harris, the leader of the 49 Bells Movement said.
Maynard-Harris says in the past three years, about 700 churches from 16 countries have joined the tolling of the 49 bells on June 12th.
"The 49 bells though they happen on June 12 it's a way to show the LGBTQ community that places of faith honor them, that they're inclusive, that those lives mattered," she said. "When God says the greatest of these is love it doesn't mean just for one religion and so I think it's really special to see the entire spiritual community come together."
On the 4th year of remembrance, the event will take place virtually due to COVID-19.
It will be done through the One Orlando Alliance Facebook page where anyone can watch and share the page on social media.
For Ricardo Negrón, who escaped unharmed 10 minutes after the attack began-- it’s a day of reflection.
"I think it's a good time to step back and make sure that everybody, right that was directly impacted by what happened is getting the help that they need," Negrón said. "I know that we always like look at this message of united and everybody is here for each other but there's also those who either did not feel comfortable reaching out to the services they needed or might have felt they got left behind."
During the virtual event, a video of the victims will be shown as María and her husband read each name and ring the bell for each life lost.
"The best way to honor is to counteract an act of hate with an act of love; we all have the power to show a little more love and a little more compassion for each other."
To join the tolling of the 49 bells on Friday, visit the One Orlando Alliance Facebook page and click on the “get reminder” tab.