Two women, one with a rainbow flag in her hair, embraced as the names of the victims were read aloud.
Exactly one year ago, the city of Orlando experienced the horrors of the worst mass shooting in USA history.
The service began what would be nearly 24 hours of observations to remember the victims and the dozens of Pulse patrons who were wounded when Omar Mateen opened fire and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. It was the single worst shooting in US history.
One year later, Murrieta reflected on the tragedy.
“This young man, Luis Vielma, is the nephew of my best friend who lives in Orlando”, said Carter. “But I also know that the strength you’ve shown over the past year will carry you through today and in the future”. Monday, memorials were held throughout Orlando and across the country to honor those lives taken. “It’s just building a stronger to make sure that we have a safe community for everyone around us”.
“I realize that gathering here in this place, at this hour, is beyond hard”, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told survivors, victims’ families, club employees and local officials during the private service.
Hundreds of people in Orlando, Florida, are leaving flowers, cards and drawings at the Pulse nightclub to remember the victims who were killed a year ago. She was not present for the shooting and has pleaded not guilty.
At noon, church bells throughout the city will ring 49 times. What started as a fun night of dancing turned into a unthinkable nightmare, when gunman Omar Mateen entered the gay night club- pledged allegiance to ISIS- and opened fire.
His widow, Noor Salman, is charged in federal court with aiding and abetting Mateen’s attack and lying to authorities.
Monday’s services culminate days of events to honor the 49 people killed and dozens wounded in the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016.