ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) — Tens of thousands who wanted to honor the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting crowded the shores of Lake Eola Sunday night for a vigil.
Just before the vigil started, a rainbow appeared in the sky above the lake, causing a joyous roar from the crowd.
Mayors Buddy Dyer and Teresa Jacobs were joined on the stage by a long list of other Central Florida leaders, including representatives from the Latino and religious communities.
“Hate will not define us. Hate will not defeat us because we are one Orlando,” Dyer said.
Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan got the biggest applause when she told the crowd hatred for Muslims is just as a bad as hatred for gay people.
“I believe in the power of forgiveness to transform lives. Not to say what happened is acceptable, but to move on from what we have lost and honor them with the power of love,” Sheehan said.
The vigil was not only to honor the victims, but for a community to collectively mourn the tragic event that touched so many. It ended with tens of thousands holding candles to the sky as the name of each victim was read.