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Tallahassee church holds service to remember Pulse nightclub victims

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 18:21:36-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — People from all over are remembering the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting three years ago.

There were 49 people killed at Pulse Nightclub that night in Orlando. Wednesday night, each of their names will be read aloud.

One local church joined hundreds of others across the country in ringing their bells 49 times in remembrance.

"It is the church's way of acknowledging the lives that were lost senselessly too soon. It is our way of saying that we understand and that we are praying for you as a faith community," said Kathleen Walker, Associate Rector for Pastoral Care and Parish Life at St. John's Episcopal Church.

The bells could be heard all throughout downtown, but for one woman, they were much more personal.

Beth DuMond is a member of the Bell Ringers' Guild at St. John's Episcopal Church, and is friends with a family who lost their son during the Pulse shooting.

"This year, for the first time, churches in all 50 states are participating. Knowing that it means so much to them that churches are ringing, it was very important to me that I be the one ringing," said DuMond. "When they asked for volunteers, my hand went up first."

The ringing of church bells all over the country is a part of the 49 Bells Movement, organized by One Orlando Alliance.

"It's more important to them that so many churches all over the country are ringing, and to all the families and all the people who had family members at pulse," said DuMond. "I think that's really important. For me, it's just a small little personal thing I can do."

The One Orlando Alliance was hoping to have more than 600 churches ring their bells Wednesday afternoon.

As for the vigil, that will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Again, each of the victim's names will be read, followed by prayer and a time for reflection.