Survivors and family members of victims gathered for a private vigil at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub early Monday morning to mark the one-year anniversary of the attack there that killed 49 people and injured at least 53 others—the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Many hundreds more gathered outside the club’s mural-adorned fence to show their support and to remember friends they lost in the massacre. Most of the victims were LGBT people of color.
“What you have endured in the past year seems like something only you can understand,” club owner Barbara Poma told the vigil inside the club, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “Except here tonight, you are surrounded by hundreds of others who are like you.”
The first memorial event at the nightclub open to the public began Monday morning; attendees wore shirts reading, “Spread love, not hate” and “Remember the 49” and were accompanied by comfort dogs. Vigils are planned around the country to mark the event, and the hashtag #OrlandoUnitedDay began trending on Twitter to mark the moment.
Here are some photos and videos from the event:
49 angels have arrived outside Pulse. Incredible scene. pic.twitter.com/2bzqBoXmwg
— Justin Warmoth (@JustinWarmoth) June 12, 2017
Here are their names. pic.twitter.com/S44QuwiN5c
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) June 12, 2017
It’s been one year since 49 people lost their lives at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. #OrlandoUnitedDay https://t.co/WcKYHJz19V
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) June 12, 2017