UPDATE: We have been notified that the items missing from the Orlando memorial at the Legacy of Love monument have been located and are safe and sound.
The items were collected by someone who was afraid it was going to rain and the items would be ruined. They delivered the items to Resource Center, according to posts and Facebook, Resource Center will deliver them to Alexandre’s. From there, the items will be divided, with some going to the GLBT Community Center in Orlando and some going to the LGBT Archives at UNT.
Within hours of news breaking about the mass murder that started inside Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shortly before 2 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, Dallas’ LGBT community and its allies began leaving messages of sorrow, comfort and support — along with flowers and other tokens — at the Legacy of Love monument.
The monument, located in the heart of the city’s gayborhood, at the intersection of Oak Lawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road, is maintained by the Oak Lawn Committee. By the time the more than 1,000 participants in a vigil and march reached the monument on the evening of June 12, it was covered in flowers, posters and more — all left in memory of and in honor of the 49 people murdered and 53 others injured by the gunman who attacked Pulse.
The impromptu memorial grew throughout the week, with more flowers, more posters and more tokens of love, grief and solidarity were added to the site. This past weekend, members of Take Back Oak Lawn went over to to remove dead flowers and tidy up the memorial. They also worked with florists in the area, who donated $300-$400 worth of fresh flowers to replace the ones which had wilted and faded, according to TBOL member Cannon Brown.
TBOL had already made arrangements with Oak Lawn Committee to maintain the memorial, leaving the messages, posters, flowers and other tokens on the monument until funerals/memorials had been held for the 49 killed at Pulse, Brown said. At that time, all the posters, messages and tokens would be collected and either sent to Orlando to become part of a memorial there, or added to the LGBT archives at the University of North Texas in Denton, he added.
Brown also that TBOL had already collected three items left at the monument — a concrete statute of an angel, a glass cross and the Texas House of Representatives seal that had been on the flowers left by state Rep. Rafael Anchia’s office — and put them away for safekeeping until they can be sent either to Orlando or UNT.
However, Brown continued, when TBOL members went by on Sunday, they realized that all the items, except for the artificial flowers, had been removed from the monument.
“We talked to Michael Milliken with Oak Lawn Committee, and they didn’t do it,” he said. “We don’t believe it was done with any malicious intent, but we do want to get the items back. We want to save them all and have them be part of a memorial in Orlando or the archives at UNT.”
Brown said that the items taken from the monument could be left, anonymously, on the patio at Alexandre’s, 4026 Cedar Springs Road, if necessary. “We just want to get them back so we can make sure they are preserved,” he said.