Rose Parade float honors Pulse survivors, remembers victims


Victims and survivors of the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse were honored in California's 128th Rose Parade on Monday with a rainbow-themed float.

The float, commissioned by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, was titled "To Honor and Remember Orlando" and featured a pair of rainbows inside a floral garden with 49 white stars to honor the dead and a large white dove. Several people rode the float, including Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse; Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan; Joel Morales, a victim services advocate at the GLBT Center of Central Florida; Pulse shooting survivors Victor Baez Febo, Isaiah Henderson and Jahqui Sevilla; and Corey Lyons and Gustavo Marrero, both with Impulse United, a group that promotes healthier sexual lifestyles for gay men, according to a press release from AHF.

"When AHF first began contemplating themes for its Rose Parade float entry, we felt a theme of remembrance and tribute in honor of those who were killed or injured at Pulse – and in honor of the Orlando community’s indomitable spirit and extraordinary, life-affirming response toward overcoming the homophobic stigma and discrimination that contributed to this attack – would be fitting for the Orlando community and for AHF’s 2017 Tournament of Roses commemoration," says Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. "In fact, the very name of the Pulse nightclub is a tribute to someone lost to AIDS in earlier days of the epidemic: club co-owner Barbara Poma’s brother, John."

Watch a clip of the float in the Rose Parade below.