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Orlando Mayor Accepts Orange County Bar’s Liberty Bell Awarded for Community’s Response to Pulse

ORLANDO, FL – Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer accepted the Orange County Bar Association’s (OCBA) prestigious Liberty Bell award on behalf of the community for its response to the Pulse nightclub tragedy one year ago. The award, which was presented at the OCBA’s Law Week luncheon last month, is given to an organization or individual outside of the legal profession that works to promote civic responsibility among citizens. The bar’s Law Week committee determined that the entire Central Florida community was deserving of the award for its extraordinary response to the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016.

Upon accepting the award, Dyer commented: “The community deserves this award. On the morning of June 12, 2016 we weren’t young or old; LGBT or straight; Muslim, Christian or Jewish; White, African-American or Hispanic – we were all simply ‘Orlando.’ But that didn’t just happen. It was a choice we made. We chose love in the face of hate and we chose unity when someone sought to divide us. That was the silver lining and that is the real strength of this community.”

The 2017 Law Day theme, The Fourteenth Amendment: Transforming American Democracy gave participants an opportunity to learn about how the Fourteenth Amendment has played – and continues to play – a pivotal role in extending the Bill of Rights.

In their remarks, OCBA’s Law Week co-chairs, C. Andrew Roy, Esq., and Jessica A. Travis, Esq., noted that the community of helpers “united in action despite their differences, letting their humanity serve as the binding force. They embodied the spirit of freedom underlying the written words of the Fourteenth Amendment; they lived the mandate of equality. The helpers showed the world what it means to unite.”

Law Day, proposed by the American Bar Association in 1957 and proclaimed by President Eisenhower as a day to honor the role of law in creation of the United States, is celebrated by bar associations throughout the country. The OCBA’s award-winning Law Week program has developed activities that span several months, including participatory mock trials for elementary and middle school students; a poster and essay contest; a DUI mock trial and video, which is presented just prior to prom, for high school students; job shadowing with the judges, including a tour of the courthouse; and programs about careers in the justice system for youth.

The Orange County Bar Association, established in 1933, is a voluntary association comprised of 3,400 judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals whose mission is to serve the profession and the public with outstanding member and community programs. The association established and supports the work of the OCBA Foundation, Inc., and the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc.