AIDS Healthcare Foundation float provided one of parade’s most emotional moments for many.
A float titled ‘To Honor & Remember Orlando’ was among the emotional highlights of the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade on Monday, 2 January 2017.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s float featured a magnificent floral white dove soaring high above a field of stars.
There were 49 stars representing each of those who died in the 12 June shooting massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando.
Three survivors of the attack, the owner of the club and community members involved in the recovery and healing efforts in Orlando rode on the float during the annual parade in Pasadena, California.
There was also two actual releases of 49 birds from the float during the parade’s journey down Colorado Boulevard.
At the back of the float was a Memorial Tree which displayed replicas of actual loving messages of condolences from those who lost their loved ones.
Stored inside the float were more than 5000 memorial notes and reflections of comfort and encouragement the foundation collected from around the world.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and others had expressed concerns for the safety of the live birds.
‘You should take comfort in the news all 198 birds arrived home safely -the first ones in 25 minutes and the slowest in 45 minutes,’ the foundation stated on its Facebook page.