Ahead of its season-opener against the Miami Heat, the Orlando Magic paid tribute to the 49 lives lost at the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub.
At the start of the Wednesday night game, the team unveiled a new banner reading “Orlando United 49” on the front, with the names of each victim written on the back. It will hang permanently in Amway Center.
“On June 12, 2016, our world changed forever,” began the NBA team’s announcer, Paul Porter. “Forty-nine of our family, friends and neighbors were taken from us too soon, with more than 50 others injured in a horrific tragedy at Pulse.”
“Tonight, we honor their lives,” he concluded, “the heroes who emerged early that morning and a healing community that showed the world that love always conquers hate.”
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) October 26, 2016
As AP reports, this was not a “one-night commitment for the Magic, who have contributed both money and staff resources to the ongoing healing process and plan to continue.”
In addition to the banner, first responders unfurled a large American flag during the National Anthem and singer Brandon Parsons performed the original song “Forty-Nine Times.”