By David T. Valentin
Just this past Sunday (July 11th), entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson was scheduled to embark into space, the first-ever successful take off for Branson’s space faring company, Virgin Galactic. Among a few items Branson took to space was a Pride flag.
When asked why he was taking the flag into space, he simply explained that someone had asked him to take the flag to space in honor of those lost in the Orlando Pulse shooting.
“Somebody who lost a loved one at the Orlando massacre asked if I would do that,” Branson explained to Insider. “We also have many, many friends who are gay and I know people who lost friends there.”
Along with the Pride flag, Branson also took a few family photos along with him, but no cameras or any notebooks. When asked for advice from other astronauts, Branson was told “Do not take a camera, do not take notebooks, just look out of the window and look back at this incredible world we live in and take it all in.”
This year will be the fifth anniversary of the Orlando Pulse shooting, a shooting that killed 49 people and wounded 53. To acknowledge the lives lost that night, President Biden passed a bill on June 24th which declared the Pulse nightclub in Orlando a National memorial.