PULSE: UCF honors 49 victims, including 2 fallen Knights

By John W. Davis, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, June 12, 2017, 10:30 AM EDT

The pain of losing her younger brother is still raw.

“It’s not different than last year. There’s no more comfort. No more answered questions. It’s the same," said Celia Ruiz, the sister of Juan Ramon Guerrero.

The University of Central Florida is standing together to remember victims of the Pulse shooting.

The Pulse tragedy personally affected many people across the campus.

“UCF plays a big part of the Orlando community. We also have to recognize two individuals that we lost who were part of the Knight community. We lost an alumni, as well as a student," said Edwanna Andrews, the Director of Social Justice and Advocacy at UCF.

A muralist immortalized Juan Ramon Guerrero and Christoper Andrew Leinonen, two eternal Knights who died at Pulse Nightclub.

“My brother came to school here. This was his dream, he wanted to study here. The fact that the school cares enough to remember him and paint this mural means a lot to our family," Ruiz explained.

Other artists also remembered Pulse through photos, quilts and paintings at the UCF Art Gallery.

“It was just really healing to do this," shared Carrie Moran, UCF Pride Faculty & Staff Association president, who is also a photographer.

“Working for UCF and working with our gay students all the time, UCF has always been really inclusive, really supportive, but even in the wake of Pulse, putting rainbow lights around campus doing things like that, actually make you feel like you’re home here," Moran added.

UCF also remembered the 49 victims with tributes of love and unity.

Family members are committed to carrying on the legacy of 22-year-old Guerrero, who always dreamed of helping others.

“It’s nice that they're doing that again. We’re getting ready to have a foundation for Juan. It will be the Juan Ramon Guerrero Foundation to help other students pay for college," Ruiz said.

UCF chose to Remember the anniversary of Pulse on Thursday, June 8, so students and staff members can participate in Pulse remembrance events on June 12 in downtown Orlando.