49 church bells worldwide to mark 1 year since Pulse shooting

Group needs more churches to complete goal

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist , Nadeen Yanes - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando group wants to mark the moment when the tragedy began at Pulse nightclub for the one year anniversary of the June 12 shooting.

At noon on June 12, 49 bells at 49 churches will ring around the world symbolizing each victim killed in the shooting at the Orlando nightclub.

The moment will be part of what the city declared as Orlando United Day “a day of love and kindness.”

But the organizers behind the 49 Bells movement said they need 19 more churches to make it happen.

"We have two from Ecuador, we have two from Panama, we have Michigan, Texas, Puerto Rico. We have (bells) from all over the world,” Robin Maynard-Harris, with the OneOrlando Alliance, said. “We want to show that this movement, that these people, these amazing lives are not forgotten."

Churches can register at 49Bells.org to participate in the global event on June 12 at noon.

Mothers of pulse shooting victims Amanda Alvear and Cory Connell were at Lake Eola Wednesday, telling others what it would mean to them if they can find 49 churches to participate.

"It's going to mean the world coming together on that day for the 49 plus the survivors our whole community. It's for everyone showing we can prevail from this and we can still love from this," Cory Connell’s mother, Tara said.

Alvear's mother wrote to the Pope asking for his help.

“We would like to request that Catholic churches all across the nation and even worldwide will ring their bells 49 times to honor those victims that perished on that day,” the letter reads.

The bells will symbolize a moment of solidarity and love, she said.

"It brings me satisfaction that our kids, that this tragedy is not forgotten that they didn't die in vain. That it extended through everywhere, that people are still thinking of them," Alvear's mother, Mayra, said. Amanda Alvear was 25 years old when she died.

Tara Connell said, for her, this mission is her way of healing.

​"I'm probably going to cry," she said. "It's going to be tough, but us talking about them not forgetting what happened that night to 49 beautiful souls it helps all of us get through it."

Read Mayra Alvear's letter to the Pope below.

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