Ybor City honors Pulse victims

- People gathered throughout Tampa Bay Monday to remember the victims of the Pulse night club shooting on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy.

The ceremony in Ybor City drew a couple hundred people, some of whom lost friends in the attack last year. Those who didn't, however, were still struck hard.

"That's part of my family. That's part of who I am. When they took those lives, they took a bit of the gay community with it," said James Moore, who attended the vigil.

Justice Gennari, the president of the LGBT rights advocacy group 'GaYBOR,' will never forget where he was when the shooting happened.

"It was actually my birthday, so we actually all went out that night and we were all supposed to go to Pulse and we didn't, we stayed in Tampa," he said. "Woke up that morning, you think that you're waking up to text messages saying, 'happy birthday,' but you're actually waking up to text messages of people checking on you and checking on your friends and seeing who was there."

After the shooting, Ybor became a place in Tampa Bay where people could gather and grieve. Roughly 7,000 people packed into Ybor in 2016.

Although the crowd a year later was thinner, their message about love and unity was just as strong.

"The most beautiful thing is how much is how much it's actually rallied our community together so that we can come and show out support for each other," said Danny Conner, an attendee.

"Thankfully we're here together," added Gennari. "We're here stronger and we're fighting for their rights and fighting for our pride and our passion and our love and spreading that and letting everyone know that hate will not win."

 

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