Friends honor Pulse shooting victim with a message: 'Love should overtake hate'

Standing under flags lowered at half-staff, friends and family of Eddie Sotomayor gathered to honor his life, along with 48 others killed four years ago at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

A Sarasota native, photos show the spirit of a man who will never be forgotten.

“What they did not steal from us was our voice. We chose to not to remain silent, but to remember,” friend Robb McGovern told the group. “It’s important to remember this day because we are honoring their memories.”

The 34-year-old turned his passion for traveling into a job.

Outside of work, Eddie's dedication to friends and family was a top priority.

Every year on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, McGovern organizes the memorial in Sarasota. This year, coronavirus and social distancing kept the gathering small.

“It’s not about the amount of people, it’s about the day and symbolizing what it’s all about,” he said.

For Eddie’s friends, it’s also about celebrating who you are.

“Eddie would want everybody to know that love should overtake the hate,” friend Bruce Crow said. “He was such a good friend that you just have to remember him.”

Friends and family hope to one day put up a permeant memorial to honor the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. They are working to find a spot within the city of Sarasota.