One year later: thousands gather to honor Pulse victims


Guests react to the memorial outside the Pulse Nightclub on the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 12, 2017.

However, President Trump took a more considerate approach to acknowledge the anniversary of the massacre.

"A year ago, I woke up to the news that 49 lives that were just like mine were taken", Murrieta said.

June 12 has been officially been recognized by the city of Orlando as Orlando United Day - A Day of Love and Kindness, and a concert was be held in Lake Eola Park to commemorate those lost in the shooting. They both said Monday that the courage and compassion shown after the tragedy will be what is remembered most.

With the reading of each name a balloon was released into the evening sky. Hundreds of people left flowers, cards and drawings at the nightclub to honor the victims.

Many people cried and strangers hugged each other during solemn remembrances on Monday.

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Choking back sobs, Poma said she missed everything about Pulse, whose site will become a permanent memorial. She had planned to go the night of the shooting but at the last minute changed her mind and went to another club. That's what a lot of people felt when they first came to Pulse before the tragedy.

The name of each victim was read aloud, starting at 2:02 a.m. Monday. What started as a fun night of dancing turned into a unthinkable nightmare, when gunman Omar Mateen entered the gay night club- pledged allegiance to ISIS- and opened fire. 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.

Mateen's wife, Noor Salman, is facing charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction in federal court.

At noon, church bells throughout the Orlando area rang 49 times.

Dozens of people at the Las Vegas event cradled candles, embraced the rainbow flag, and sang.