A memorial service in 2chome for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shootings in Orlando.

vigil2Two days after the Pulse Nightclub shootings in Orlando, Florida, a memorial service for the victims was held in 2chome on the night of June 14th.

The memorial service, held by Rainbow Protesters, began at the intersection located in 2chome at 8p.m. Many gay couples and people on the way home from work, holding rainbow flags and message boards that say “NO HATE,” gathered at the intersection and prayed for the victims.
At first, there were about 50 people in the memorial service, but more and more people came to the ceremony and the intersection was filled with about 100 people praying for the victims in the end. I saw some people hugging and sharing grief with their friends and others calling their friends and asking them to come to the gathering. There were other people who were walking pass the street and taking pictures. Some local media were there, too.

Around the same time, there was another memorial service for the victim of the Pulse Nightclub shootings, “Candlelight Vigil for Orlando Victims,” held in a park a little far from 2chome. The memorial service was held by an LGBT group of foreign residents called “Stonewall Japan.” They started marching around 2chome. holding candles and those attending the memorial service in 2chome joined the march. In total, about 300 people marched through 2chome and Shinjuku.
After they came back to the park, everybody put their banners, rainbow flags, and the pictures of the victims on the ground and lit candles beside them. Many people made a speech about how they felt about the tragedy and shared their anger and grief with each other.
After the memorial service, people wrote their comments on the banner that said “TOKYO IN SOLIDARITY WITH ORLANDO.” (the banner will be sent to Orlando later.) There were many moments where my heart was pierced by grief and almost cried. The memorial service was truly beautiful.

Rainbow Protesters will hold more memorial services in Shibuya on June 15th and in Osaka at the end of this week.