On the first anniversary of the biggest tragedy ever to strike the LGBTQ community in the United States, it’s important to take a moment to remember those who are affected.
Pulse Nightclub was a gay club in Orlando owned by Barbara Poma and Ron Legler and was opened in 2004. In 1991, Barbara’s brother John died from AIDS and they named the club Pulse so that he can live on. However, on June 12, 2016, any semblance of a pulse was shattered when a single shooter shot and killed 49 patrons, and wounded 53 others.
It was considered an act of terror/hate because of religious remarks the shooter made, and because character witnesses who claimed to know the shooter believe he was secretly gay himself. Regardless of intention, it was an extremely senseless act of cowardice and ignorance. Because of one person’s reckless decision, 49 people will never see the sun rise again; 49 families are left devastated and angry; and the 53 people who survived may live the rest of their lives with a physical impairment, or at the very least nightmares every night of what they saw that fatal night.
No one should ever have his or her life cut short by someone else’s hand; but in a case like this when it’s out of our control, all we can do is carry on the best we can and memorialize those we have lost. One of the things that has always helped me cope with adverse situations is music, and it’s something that is universal to all humans. Even if it’s in another language or has no words at all, you can understand the emotion in music; and those who cannot hear can still feel the vibration.
A band that I always loved when I was growing up that I’ve connected with especially as an adult is Pink Floyd. No, not just because it’s stereotyped as ‘hippie music,’ but because of how it sounds, the lyrics, the artwork and videos, and the meaning behind the songs. Pink Floyd was revolutionary for its time and still is now, and music just isn’t the same these days.
In 1988 Pink Floyd had recorded a live album The Delicate Sound of Thunder and had no intention of recording another live album any time soon. But during their Division Bell tour in 1994, David Gilmour decided, since they were already playing most of the album anyway, to restructure their setlist to feature a Dark Side of the Moon Experience for the second half of the show. This led to the idea to record it during the UK/Europe leg of the tour and release it as a live album.
This album is called Pulse.
Pink Floyd have never shied away from talking about real topics or uncomfortable issues, and one thing they have written much about is death. Its existence, its inevitability, and its peacefulness.
One of those songs is Great Gig in the Sky and it’s about death and gradually descending into it. I would like to dedicate it to the 49 people who lost their lives one year ago today, and to everyone who has been affected by the tragedy at Pulse.
The Great Gig In The Sky
“And I am not frightened of dying, any time will do, I don’t mind.
Why should I be frightened of dying?
There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotta go sometime.”
“If you can hear this whispering you are dying.”
“I never said I was frightened of dying.”
YOU ARE REMEMBERED