The city of Orlando reflected on the tragic Pulse shooting on its one-year anniversary today (June 12). Hundreds of officials, family members and supporters gathered around the nightclub, which has now been transformed into a memorial site, for a tribute.
Beginning at at 2:02 a.m. EST (the exact time the attacks began), all 49 victims' names were called by survivors, victims' families, club employees and local officials, the Orlando Sentinel reported. It was a private service as the public stood outside the memorial's gates to pay their respect. "I realize that gathering here in this place, at this hour, is beyond difficult," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said during the service. "But I also know that the strength you've shown over the past year will carry you through today and in the future."
Orlando and the Orange County Government later declared June 12th “Orlando United Day—A Day of Love and Kindness.” Following the early morning's service, there were two remembrance ceremonies for the general public at 11 a.m. with the Orlando Gay Chorus and the city's mayors. There's also another evening service scheduled at 10 p.m. that "will feature songs, prayers, inspirational dance, reflection and music." Lastly, an event called Orlando Love: Remembering Our Angels is set at Lake Eola Park Amphitheater at 7 p.m. that will include performances by local artists.
The terrifying incident became the deadliest mass shooting in United States' history. Since then, the community has showered the site with flowers, drawings, personal letters and a vibrant mural. Below, watch Death Cab for Cutie's Nick Harmer emotional reaction to the Orlando shooting and LGBTQ rights: