The feeling of losing a loved one, especially to murder, can be hard to talk about immediately. We saw that in Orlando after the massacre that killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse. Some wanted to talk about their loved ones and tell their stories in front of news cameras right away. A few people, afraid after the world had shown them terror, hid inside their homes for days – sometimes even for months. Others were too heartbroken to talk. Consequently, not every story was told as the media covered Pulse in the weeks after June 12, 2016. Almost nine months after the tragedy, the community has an opportunity to change that. StoryCorps, a New York-based project that travels the country recording and sharing American stories, is working with WMFE 90.7 FM this week in Orlando to preserve the stories of people directly impacted by the massacre along with stories from the broader Central Florida region. The “Taking Your Pulse” project has set up several spaces around town to participate in the collection, or you can do it directly from your phone using the StoryCorps mobile app. The project’s main event is a community conversation at the hospital where many of the victims and survivors were taken. WMFE’s Matthew Peddie hosts a panel with survivors, first responders, doctors, nurses, LGBTQ and Latinx community leaders, and city officials, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando Police Chief John Mina. Granted, it’s still hard for some to talk about Pulse without getting a lump in their throats, but this project helps honor victims’ legacies and is a definite step on the path of healing.
7 p.m. Thursday, March 9 | Orlando Regional Medical Center, 52 W. Underwood St. | wmfe.org