At San Juan’s Third Millennium Park, you can now find Puerto Rico‘s first LGBT monument – a memorial to the victims of the Orlando shooting. The shooting occurred on Pulse nightclub’s Latin night and many of the victims were of Puerto Rican descent.
The monument was designed by Alberto de la Cruz and consists of seven rectangular columns in rainbow colors with a plaque that says the names of the 23 Puerto Rican individuals and the 26 who were not of Puerto Rican descent.
It also reads:
“This tribute to life strengthens our commitment to fight hate — the product of homophobia — with love and respect. Our slogan resounds in all our hearts: Love is love, is love, is love…”
The final lines echo Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Awards speech. The Puerto Rican artist delivered a sonnet he had written in tribute to the victims when accepting his award for Hamilton. Miranda often uses his platform to campaign for change in Puerto Rico, appearing on Last Week Tonight to rap about the country’s debt crisis and joining Congressional Democrats to appeal to Congress earlier this year
San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín said at the monument’s inauguration:
“Today, we celebrate life. We must work together to eradicate discrimination and homophobia. We must raise our voice for justice, and the equality of each of us who are human. We must aspire to to have a country where everyone is equal, and no one is judged for who they love.”
Orlando officials are also currently working on a permanent memorial to those killed in the nightclub shooting with input from the victims’ families, though no location or date has been set yet.