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TRENTON – Led by State Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, the New Jersey Senate today honored the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting that took place in Orlando, Fla., on June 12, 2016. Below are Senator Ruiz’s full remarks delivered today in the Senate Chamber:


“Today I rise to bring attention to a horrible tragedy, but more so to honor 49 beautiful lives that were lost.


“Members in this chamber are wearing Pride ribbons in support of the people of Orlando and of the loved ones of the victims of the tragic massacre that took place at the Pulse nightclub more than a week ago.


“This was the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States and a senseless tragedy that took the lives of dozens of young people far too soon. Today, we honor those lives.


“I am also wearing this ribbon for two specific reasons.


“The details are still emerging about this tragedy, but we know this was a crime motivated by hate. We have to stand up against hate, in whatever form it comes in. Today, we are doing that – we are standing in solidarity with the people of Orlando and the LGBT community to say that, together, we will overcome prejudice and hate.


“Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Orlando this week, and she said it best:


“We stand with you to say that the good in this world far outweighs the evil, that our common humanity transcends our differences, and that our most effective response to terror and to hatred is compassion, it’s unity, and it’s love…We stand with you today as we grieve together, and long after the cameras are gone, we will continue to stand with you as we grow together in commitment, in solidarity, and in equality.”


“Second, I am wearing this ribbon to make a strong statement that it is time to act. As a nation, we can no longer continue to merely engage in discussion in the aftermath of tragedy, and then go back to business as usual.  We have to step up as a country and address gun violence in a meaningful way. We have to pass and enact commonsense solutions that will reduce gun violence. And we must also remember that in many communities, this is a daily occurrence.


“Mr. President, today in honor of the 49 lives that were lost, I would like to read aloud their names and ages:


Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old


Amanda Alvear, 25 years old


Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old


Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old


Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old


Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old


Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old


Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old


Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old


Cory James Connell, 21 years old


Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old


Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old


Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old


Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old


Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old


Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old


Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old


Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old


Frank Hernandez, 27 years old


Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old


Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old


Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old


Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old


Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old


Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old


Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old


Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old


Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old


Kimberly Morris, 37 years old


Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old


Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old


Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old


Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old


Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old


Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old


Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old


Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old


Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old


Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old


Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old


Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old


Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old


Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old


Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old


Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old


Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old


Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old


Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old


Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old.


“Thank you.”