Ser­vices to mark 1 year since 49 killed in Or­lando gay club

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

OR­LANDO | Church bells will toll through­out the Or­lando area as res­i­dents re­flect on the 49 pa­trons killed dur­ing a massacre at the gay night­club Pulse in the worst mass shoot­ing in re­cent U.S. his­tory.

Start­ing in the early hours Mon­day, and con­tin­u­ing al­most 24 hours later, sur­vivors, vic­tims’ fam­i­lies, city of­fi­cials and Cen­tral Florida res­i­dents will re­mem­ber the vic­tims with four ser­vices.

The first ser­vice is closed to the pub­lic, and it’s be­ing held at the night­club for sur­vivors, lo­cal of­fi­cials and club em­ploy­ees. It will over­lap with the ex­act time that gun­man Omar Ma­teen be­gan fir­ing shots — a lit­tle af­ter 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016.

It is fol­lowed by an­other mid­day ser­vice at the night­club, and an evening gath­er­ing in the heart of down­town Or­lando. A fi­nal, mu­sic-filled late-night ser­vice is be­ing held at the night­club.

Ma­teen pledged al­le­giance to the Is­lamic State dur­ing the at­tack and was even­tu­ally killed by po­lice dur­ing a shootout af­ter a three-hour stand­off. His wife, Noor Sal­man, is fac­ing charges of aid­ing and abet­ting and ob­struc­tion in fed­eral court, and she has pleaded not guilty to help­ing her hus­band.

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