Moment of silence held at Pulse 6 months after mass shooting
49 killed, 53 injured in mass shooting at Orlando nightclub
ORLANDO, Fla. – The fence around Pulse opened early Monday for an intimate ceremony marking six months since a mass shooting left 49 dead and 53 injured at the Orlando nightclub.
Survivors, staff and family members of victims who were killed during the massacre held a moment of silence at 2:02 a.m., the exact time gunman Omar Mateen started shooting inside the gay nightclub.
The early-morning memorial at Pulse was not open to the public, only to those with a direct connection to the shooting.
A more public event is scheduled Monday evening at the Orange County History Center. Following that event, there will be another ceremony at Pulse, with a performance by the Orlando Gay Chorus.
The names of each of the 49 patrons who were killed will be read.
Laura Dewey visited Pulse on Sunday for the first time since the tragedy. She said Pulse was a club that she had attended for years with friends.
"The sadness that comes in the opportunity to grow," Dewey said. "If you ever want to see the word love a million times, come here because love is the only word that is written on this wall."
Melissa King, of Edgewater, stopped by Pulse on Sunday, wearing a bracelet she said was given to her by the mother of Pulse victim Amanda Alvear, whose birthday also happens to be the six-month anniversary of the attack.
"You see one man's hate and you think that when you come here, that's what it is about, and it's not. It's about going and looking at the wall and seeing all the love from all over the world," King said.
A Christmas tree also stands outside the nightclub as a symbol of how much time has passed since the June attack.
"Makes me so sad to see it dark," Dewey said. "Beyond the fence, I see the walls of a building that used to be so filled with life," Dewey said.
Pulse owner Barbara Poma announced Friday that she plans to reopen the nightclub in another location, but hasn't said where or when that will be.
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