ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – More than 70 people gathered on the campus of the University of Central Florida for a vigil to remember the 49 lives lost at Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016.
The UCF community paused to commemorate the victims and loved ones whose lives were destroyed by violence five years earlier.
The vigil held inside UCF’s student union featured speeches from student leaders, lawmakers and the university president.
“After this past year it’s even more important that we come together, support one another and allow our compassion and love for each other,” Alexander Cartwright said.
The names of the 49 victims were read aloud as the audience sat silently in the dimly lit ballroom. One speaker took to the microphone to share how the mass shooting changed his life.
“Now as we come upon this fifth remembrance. My life has changed radically I am now what I call professionally gay,” he said.
UCF’s community was particularly impacted by the shooting after losing two Knights. A member in attendance pledged to fight hate with love.
“Homophobia has no place here, transphobia has no place here, hate has no place here,” she said.