There will be a formal vigil tonight at 7 p.m. at the Stonewall Inn for the victims of yesterday’s mass shooting in Orlando at the gay nightclub Pulse. Speakers including governor Andrew Cuomo and mayor Bill De Blasio as well as leaders and activists from the LGBTQ community will address mourners and “call on Congress to stop standing in the way of reasonable gun control laws.”
At least 50 people were killed and 53 wounded in yesterday’s attack, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The gunman, who shot his way into the nightclub around 2 a.m. Sunday morning and killed dozens before taking several clubgoers hostage, reportedly claimed allegiance to ISIS before committing the attack and was motivated by radical homophobia. At least one New York City resident, Brooklyn’s Enrique Rios, who was visiting Orlando for a friend’s birthday, was among those killed during the shooting.
Last night, an impromptu vigil drew hundreds of people to the West Village bar, which was landmarked last year as the place that kickstarted the gay rights movement in 1969. People who gathered at the iconic bar– no stranger to such gatherings — held signs and flags to demonstrate their solidarity with the LGBT community and pay their respects to those who died. Mourners also laid 50 roses in front of the bar, to symbolize the 50 people killed in the attack.
Meanwhile, local LGBT establishments tweeted thoughts about the tragedy.
Shower your brothers and sisters with pure love today.
We could all use it.
— Metropolitan Bar (@Metropolitan_BK) June 12, 2016
Hug a loved one tightly today and remember how truly fortunate you are to have that moment.
— Macri Park (@MacriPark) June 12, 2016
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families in Orlando. We stand in solidarity and in sadness with our entire LGBT community
— THE STONEWALL INN (@TheStonewallNYC) June 12, 2016
Our sympathy and prayers go out to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Such a horrific tragedy.
— Julius' Bar (@JULIUSBARNYC) June 12, 2016
For the vigil tonight, organizers are encouraging attendees to bring LED candles and signs with #WeAreOrlando to show their support. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page, here.
— Nout van Woudenberg (@NoutNL) June 13, 2016
— Jimmy Rivera (@JimmyRiveraNYC) June 13, 2016
A photo posted by Christine Champagne (@iamchristinechampagne) on
— Mario Cornejo (@mrcrnj) June 13, 2016