HOUSTON - It's been five years since the tragic events at Pulse Nightclub in Florida but the many lives lost that fateful day will never be forgotten.
In the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, the Orlando community suffered a horrible tragedy, as gunman Omar Mateen opened fire inside the nightclub, killing 49 people and wounding another 53.
To honor the victims from that day, Houston City Hall is honoring the victims by lighting its buildings with rainbow colors Saturday evening.
Additionally, Jeremy Edwards and Jamie Gonzalez, Co-Chairs of Mayor Sylvester Turner's LGBTQ Advisory Board issued a lengthy statement of solidarity to the community, which you can find below:
"This past year has shown us we cannot take for granted cherished ones still with us and to remember those loved ones we have lost. This is particularly true today, marking the 5th anniversary of the tragic shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL.
"We take this time to remember those 49 beautiful lives our community lost that day. In 2016, our LGBTQIA+ community came together throughout the country in grief and in fear after the hateful and violent act. But we also stand together in the love of one another and hope for a better future.
"In the aftermath of the club shooting, the City of Houston immediately responded in solidarity with the formation of Mayor Turner's LGBTQ Advisory Board, naming 49 members to reflect the 49 lives and voices who were taken too soon on June 12th. The advisory board works to uplift the voices of our community and provide policy recommendations that will end discrimination and advance issues that improve our quality of life.
"Recently and historically, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation designating the site of the Pulse Nightclub as a national memorial. While the pain and hurt will never subside, we continue to honor and celebrate the lives of these individuals who are and will always be part of pride flags that we wave at our respective celebrations, parades, and gatherings.
"We must not let their lives be lost in vain, and we must continue to persevere and take action by speaking up against discrimination and violence, spreading love and kindness, and remaining united as an LGBTQIA+ family."