Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health faculty, students, and staff paid an emotional tribute to the Orlando shooting victims, those injured, and all of those impacted by the tragedy in a special memorial reflection gathering held on Monday, June 13, 2016 at the School.
“As citizens and public health workers, we should stand and affirm our determination to see a day when homophobia no longer exists, where hate no longer exists, and to the extent they do still exist— that people who hate don’t have the means to create such devastation,” Acting Dean Dr. David Hunter told the crowd gathered outside in the School’s courtyard.
“The events in Orlando a few short hours ago took away a fundamental right from 50 individuals who were killed and dozens more who were injured. This was an act of hate, homophobia, and of terror. It was an act made possible by lax gun control,” wrote Dean Designate Dr. Michelle A. Williams, who was out of town, in remarks read by Dr. Hunter at the vigil.
In a joint statement on June 12, Drs. Hunter and Williams, wrote: “It is with a sense of horror, sadness, and outrage that we learn today of the worst mass shooting on U.S. soil in recent history — in Orlando FL, where at least 50 are dead and more than 50 others are wounded. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this brutal atrocity, an event of terror and hate which targeted a nightclub popular with LGBT people during LGBT Pride Month.” They continued, “As President Obama said today, an attack on any person living in the U.S. — regardless of their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us. This attack yet again shows how important it is to make it more difficult for people to acquire guns.”
Listen to a special Harvard Chan: This Week in Health podcast: Standing in solidarity with Orlando
Read the June 12 statement by Drs. Hunter and Williams: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/orlando-tragedy/
Read more on gun research at Harvard Chan School: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/stopping-gun-violence/