On Sunday night, an estimated 50,000 people attended Orlando's memorial vigil for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12. The candlelight service was held around Lake Eola in downtown Orlando in remembrance of the 49 individuals who were tragically killed at the LGBT nightclub just over one week prior. Attendees carried inspirational signs promoting love and equality, with messages like, "Love always conquers hate," as well as messages to bring people together, like, "Free hugs!" Peace, love, Pulse was the mantra of the day, as music played and everyone simply celebrated love and community.
The mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, was even in attendance, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and he encouraged the positivity of the crowd. During the event, he proudly announced, "Wow, Orlando. You're showing your love, your compassion, your unity."
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs also offered a message of hope and support for the LGBT community, stating, "To our LGBTQ community, I tell you today that you are not alone. You are not alone in your sorrow and you are not alone in this fight." On the ground below the crowd was a rainbow, and during the moment of silence, each attendee held a candle. At one point, the names of each victim were recited, and the crowd chanted, "We remember them."
It was truly a warm event for all, punctuated by what some believed was a celestial response.
A rainbow appeared over the Lake Eola vigil on Sunday night, according to Orlando NBC affiliate WESH. At that point, the crowd went wild with love — just as they always should.