Orlando City continues tributes to Pulse victims

by: Joe Kepner Updated:

ORLANDO, Fla. - After the attack at Pulse night club the Orlando City Soccer Club saw their next home game as a chance to honor the people who died and give the community a place to rally together. 
 
The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" was the song that played as the teams entered the field on June eighteenth. Pulse survivors, families of the people who died and first responders were all honored at midfield in the first major event in Orlando after the shooting. 
 
And the tributes didn't stop there. 
 
The entire crowd of 37 thousand sang the national anthem in honor of singer Christina Grimmey, the victim of a separate shooting in Orlando the same weekend. 
 
There were also 49 seats left open at Camping World Stadium, with balloons symbolizing the place in the community always to be occupied by those who died. 
 
And in the 49th minute of the game, the first time an MLS match was stopped for an extended moment of silence. 
 
Orlando City did not win that night. The game ended in a draw with exhausted players disappointed they couldn't deliver a victory for their city. 
 
Adrian Heath was the head coach of Orlando City that night and talked about his players efforts.
 
"After the game I praised them for their efforts. I couldn't fault them for their willingness and their desire to win the game. You could see by their reaction after the whistle how much this game meant to them." Said Heath.
 
But the Pulse tributes did not end with the final whistle. The Orlando City Soccer Club installed 49 rainbow colored seats in section 12. Visible from anywhere in their new stadium.
 
"Every time I see those seats it's a reminder to everyone not necessarily of what happened but also, we are an inclusive club. That we welcome everyone." Said Kay Rawlins, the president of the Orlando City Foundation.
 
The charitable arm of the Orlando City Soccer Club is also participating in the #ActLoveGive initiative. Encouraging people to get involved through acts of kindness. Many of the ideas came from the families of the Pulse victims. 
 
"This is a safe place as well. It really is," said Rawlins talking about the city of Orlando. "And I know that sounds strange after Pulse. But we've come together in a way that I think no one could imagine. And people all over the world talk about Orlando now in a very different way. And I'm proud of that."
 
June twelfth was a night that changed Orlando. But not in the way the attacker hoped. It brought the community closer together. 
 
The 49 rainbow seats at Orlando City Stadium are a lasting monument. Reminding the world that love is the greatest response to fear.