Today marks the first anniversary of the horrific shooting at LGBT nightclub Pulse in Orlando, which left 49 people dead and 53 injured. The massacre, committed by gunman Omar Mateen, is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Last night, in memory of those lost, 49 people dressed as angels (one for each life) surrounded the club just an hour before the time the shooting took place. According to a local broadcaster,
reported by CBS, "The same people dressed in wide, white angel wings protected family and friends in the days after the shooting last year so they could mourn in private—Soft music played and the angels held candles, their backs facing the club as family gathered behind them."
They were joined by hundreds of others, almost 1,000 people
say officials. Family members of those murdered were in attendance to read off the names of their loved ones.
The city of Orlando has declared June 12 "Orlando United Day," and three other ceremonies have been planned for today at the nightclub with a large gathering expected downtown. A rainbow flag will wave at City Hall, and many of Orlando's landmarks are already lit up with rainbow lights.
In remembrance, here are the names of the 49 victims, via the city of Orlando:
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old Amanda L. Alvear, 25 years old Oscar A. Aracena Montero, 26 years old Rodolfo Ayala Ayala, 33 years old Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old Angel Candelario-Padro, 28 years old Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 years old Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old Cory James Connell, 21 years old Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernández, 31 years old Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old Peter Ommy Gonzalez Cruz, 22 years old Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old Frank Hernandez, 27 years old Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old Javier Jorge Reyes, 40 years old Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old Brenda Marquez McCool, 49 years old Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25 years old Kimberly Jean Morris, 37 years old Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20 years old Geraldo A. Ortiz Jimenez, 25 years old Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old Jean Carlos Nieves Rodríguez, 27 years old Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35 years old Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24 years old Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 years old Juan Pablo Rivera Velázquez, 37 years old Luis Sergio Vielma, 22 years old Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velázquez, 50 years old Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old