We’ve hugged, held hands, planted trees, lit candles, shown love every way we can. We’ve stood together to remember the 49 innocent lives we lost, to cherish those who survived and to shout to the world that it’s time for peace, acceptance and love. It’s been two years since so many of us awoke to the news of the Pulse shooting, but we have not forgotten. So many within our Valencia family have remained strong in their commitment to never forget.
Michael Maguire, operations manager, video productions, is one such person. Driven to memorialize the victims of Pulse and emboldened to advocate for peace, Michael contributed to the recently-debuted interim Pulse memorial, displayed at the Pulse nightclub. Created by the onePULSE Foundation, the memorial is a manifestation of hope — a collection of brightly colored images depicting LGBTQ pride and vigils held in the wake of the shooting. As a contribution, Michael donated more than 60 images to the striking memorial, many of which can be viewed by clicking here.
Commenting on his inspiration to partake in the memorial’s creation, Michael said, “My friend of over 20 years, Siclaly “Laly” Santiago-Leon, lost her cousin Luis Daniel Wilson Leon and his boyfriend, Jean Carlos Mendez Perez — both of whom I had met at her surprise birthday party just months prior to the shooting. Needless to say, the 60-plus images I donated to the memorial have a deeper meaning for me.”
For those likewise inspired to do something in honor of their memory, Michael says, “It is my hope that people will consider donating to the onePulse Foundation.”