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One Year Later, Victims of Pulse Nightclub Shooting Remembered

Thousands gathered in Orlando Monday night to remember the victims killed in the deadliest terror attack on USA soil since 9-11.This marks one year since 49 people lost their lives in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Forty-nine people died and dozens were injured when a lone gunman who claimed allegiance to the so-called Islamic State opened fire in the gay nightclub. They shut down for an hour Monday evening to remember the victims and survivors of the shooting.

"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. Outside, a makeshift memorial was erected with the rainbow flags of the gay rights movement, pictures of the slain, flowers, candles, soft toys and other offerings.

Today, marks the one-year anniversary since the deadliest mass shooting in our countries history. "As a nation, gay, straight, or whatever, we came together".

Those who attended Monday night's vigil had the opportunity to sign a poster that will be sent to the Pulse nightclub as a show of support.

"The emotion is too much for words", Hansen said. "Like I could come here and talk with my friends".

People are opening up about the day that changed their lives forever. Gov. Rick Scott ordered USA flags around Florida to be flown at half-staff and a giant rainbow flag would be unveiled at the Orange County government building.

Scott visited the scene of the shooting early on Monday and observed a minute of silence. "So now we have 49 angels up there, protecting us and guiding us home", Pride of the Panhandle Board Member William Shurbutt said.

"We'll be having a covered-dish fellowship, and then we'll also have our memorial", Shurbutt said. A quarter of the 2.3 million inhabitants in the greater Orlando area are Hispanic, and half of those are of Puerto Rican heritage, according to the USA census bureau.

City and county officials in Orlando requested that the day be honored in that way.

Just before the sun set, thousands of people gathered on the banks of Lake Eola in the center of the city at 7:00 pm (2300 GMT) for another memorial vigil.



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