In a show of love and solidarity, New York has pledged $1 million to memoralize the 49 victims of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that through an executive order he has launched a LGBT Memorial Commission that would work to create a monument in New York City honoring the victims of the Orlando shooting, along with all other “victims of hate, intolerance, and violence.”
The commission comes after a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub on June 12. More than 50 people were injured in addition to those killed.
The state of New York is pledging $1 million for the monument, which Cuomo said could possibly reside in Battery Park City — overlooking the Statue of Liberty— or Chelsea Piers on the western side of Greenwich Village.
Cuomo made the announcement right before walking in the NYC Pride March and was joined by various members of the LGBT community including Terry DeCarlo, executive director of the LGBT Center of Central Florida.
“When we heard about Orlando, it touched each and every one of us because it went to the core of who we are and what we believe. And it was everyone’s neighbor, everyone’s brother, everyone’s sister,” Cuomo said.
The LGBT Memorial Commission is made up of 10 people appointed by the governor and overseen by Counsel to the Governor Alphonso David including former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is now CEO of Women In Need; Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Glennda Testone, Executive Director of the New York LGBT Community Center; and other LGBT activists and community leaders.
The group will begin to work immediately and will offer recommendations to the governor no later than Dec. 31 on location, design and installation of the memorial.
During Sunday’s announcement, Cuomo also designated the Stonewall Inn as a New York State historic site and detailed the “Open Doors Campaign” aimed at reflecting the state’s strength in diversity.
The campaign will feature three digital and broadcast advertisements that will run in New York, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Texas throughout the summer.
According to the governor, the ads will tell viewers: “if you feel threatened by diversity, come to New York.”
“New York’s role is to stand up and fight. That is why when you look throughout our history, so many of the movements of justice, fundamental justice, equal rights, equal protection, they all started here,” Cuomo said.