Prayer Ribbon exhibit installed at Orlando City Hall to honor Pulse victims

Ribbons included names of the 49 victims in Pulse Nightclub shooting

ORLANDO, Fla. – Friday’s ceremony at Orlando City Hall was the installation of the Prayer Ribbon exhibit to honor the lives of the 49 victims who died in the Pulse shooting.

The colorful collection of ribbons was made by a group in Provincetown, Massachusetts back in 2016 and continues to be a part of Orlando’s memorials. The ribbons not only include message of hope on colorful ribbons, but the names of the 49 victims are woven throughout on black ribbons.

“You’ll notice 49 black ribbons, each embossed with the name of one of the victims from Pulse,” said Prayer Ribbons creator Jay Critchley. “Plus, we have a 50th ribbon just for those that were injured.”

Critchley has brought the ribbons down from Provincetown almost every year since the tragedy. He said the Provincetown community felt a deep connection to Orlando after the Pulse shooting.

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“It just seemed like like a heartfelt message to send not only to Orlando, but to the rest of the country that we in Provincetown care about what goes on in our family,” Critchley said. “We’re all part of the same family.”

Education Program Specialist with the OnePulse Foundation Andres Acosta Ardila said this is always a difficult time that comes with a lot of emotion.

“You almost won justice,” Ardila said. “But there is no justice to be had. There’s only remembrance, and that’s all we can do, really.”

Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan said that seven years later, survivors are still struggling with lasting impacts from that night.

“The stories that I heard from young people who tried to drag their friends out, and they passed away, they were... they were ,you know; they were putting survivors into police cars, and their friends were holding their wounds to keep them from bleeding out because there weren’t enough ambulances,” Sheehan said. “This was a really, really big shock to this community. But the way that this community came together and love and acceptance and lit up everything downtown in rainbows and all over the world, it was incredible to see.”

The Prayer Ribbons will be on display in front of City Hall from June 9 through June 18. After that, they will go back to Provincetown.

For a full list of Pulse memorial events happening throughout the weekend and next week, click here.

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Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.