One may be accustomed to the bell ringing on Sunday mornings at St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at the corner of Wesley Avenue and Crain Street. There is also a smaller bell, one that rings less frequently, reserved for sad occasions. The church’s memorial bell is used during funerals and memorial services at the church, being rung once for each year of the life of the person to whom the congregation is paying respects.
On June 12, the memorial bell will ring to remember 49 lives lost a year ago on that date.
For 12 years, Pulse, a gay bar, dance club, and nightclub was a place in Orlando, Fla., for people to come, find support, and be themselves. On June 12, 2016, the LGBTQ nightclub was the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history by a single gunman.
At noon on June 12, St. John’s will join with churches across the world as it rings its memorial bell 49 times to remember those killed in the attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. The project, organized by OneOrlandoAlliance.org, is a unified act of love in response to hate, said Reverend Cindi Knox, pastor of St. John’s. She has a poignant connection with this date, having been ordained the afternoon after the shooting. She calls upon people across Evanston, regardless of faith, to remember the 49 lives cut short by senseless violence.