ORLANDO, FL – The picture is emotional and stunning.
No fear. No hesitation.
Less than 48 hours after a gunman opened fire at an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring 35 others, thousands gathered at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando for a vigil to remember and honor all the victims.
Many in the crowd said they were inspired to attend because Pulse played a huge role in their lives as gays and lesbians.
“It was a place that a young 20-year-old who wasn’t openly gay felt safe for the first time,” said Cathleen Daus, now 36. She worked at Pulse in her twenties. “Pulse gave me confidence, made me realize I was normal and so much like everyone else.”
The vigil was held on the lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center, the area’s main performing arts venue. It’s also the location of a makeshift memorial, where folks have been leaving flowers, candles and notes for the victims.