Local

Osceola County unveils tribute to 49 lives lost, survivors in Pulse nightclub shooting

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Osceola County unveiled its version of a Pulse tribute to several families of victims and survivors called “Wings of Rainbow.”

WATCH CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS

The tribute is in collaboration with the County Commission Chair Cheryl Grieb and artist JEFRË.

The sculpture will sit in Brownie Wise Park on Lake Tohopekaliga.

JEFRË told Eyewitness News Wednesday that the sculpture symbolizes remembrance, diversity, and hope.

“This is really trying to make something whole and provide soul to a city,” said JEFRË, artist of Wings of Rainbow.

Read: Orlando remembers 49 Pulse victims through remembrance ceremony

During a brief slideshow presentation, JEFRË explained that the sculpture is not a memorial but a tribute and will not take away from the memorial in Orlando.

“What I was really excited about, was to have it in a place where the event didn’t happen. The idea is that it’s not about tragedy or days of event. It’s about celebrating their lives,” said JEFRË.

The tribute will feature wings in rainbow-colored glass where the names of those who died will be placed.

The project will also have multi-colored glass stones surrounding the sculpture that family members will permanently place items inside that represent their loved ones.

Photos: Osceola County unveils tribute to 49 lives lost, survivors in Pulse nightclub shooting

JEFRË said the simple yet intricate design will also be interactive for visitors to digitally write letters to the victims that will go to a cloud server.

It will all sit inside a heart-shaped trail that people can walk around.

Commissioner Grieb said that over the last few years, several families have come to her asking for something that represents the people who lived in the county.

The county said more than 20% of the 49 who died called Osceola home.

In May, Grieb said the county planned to allocate up to $250,000 in unused American Rescue Plan funds for the project.

The announcement has faced backlash from Osceola County residents who have spoken out on social media.

“We want something that we can go to and have conversations with their family members and tell them what’s been happening the last eight years,” said Cheryl Grieb, County Commission Chair.

Read:

Eyewitness News spoke with Andrea Drayton, the mother of Pulse victim Deonka Drayton. She said watching the unveiling come to reality was a bit of relief after eight years.

“We’ve done it, finally have something to represent our children,” said Drayton.

Drayton told us how her daughter was the life of the party and full of love and commanded the room. She said “Wings of Rainbow” reflects who her daughter was.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

0
Comments on this article
0