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Orlando Declares Unity in First Vigil After Shooting

Orlando Declares Unity in First Vigil After Shooting

Vigil in Orlando

During the vigil, the Pulse night club's owner vowed to reopen.

ORLANDO -- A vigil hosted by Equality Florida at the Doctor Phillips Center in Orlando gave an outlet for righteous anger and solidarity. Screams of "Orlando United" filled downtown as good wishes were conveyed from around the globe.

"Nothing good at all will come from this. We will make good come from this," said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida. "It doesn't happen on its own."

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, compared Pulse to infamous sites of anti-LGBT attacks. "Like Stonewall Inn and the Upstairs Lounge, this was a safe place," he said. "This was a sanctuary."

Representatives from Mission Unique and CAIR read the publicly available names of victims of the shooting. And LGBT and LGBT-friendly pols shared the stage with religious leaders and political activists.

(RELATED PHOTOS: Orlando Vigil Promises 'You'll Never Walk Alone')

"Orlando has been ground zero last 48 hours," said out city commissioner Patty Sheehan. "I have seen horrific things. I have seen blood over the sidewalks and streets of our city. I have seen bullets on our streets. I have seen mothers crying after they know their children have passed. I have seen horrible things in my city. But I have also seen power of love in Orlando."

Leaders all said the vigil offered a long-needed catharsis from a painful weekend.

"If you're anything like me, you have been in motion since the news broke, I have been afraid of stopping and letting it settle on me," Smith said. "But hearing those names echo off buildings is hitting me even harder today. I find myself awash in sadness, in anger, and also in pride."

"We might be broken. We might have been hurt," said Terry DeCarlo, director of the LGBT Center in Orlando. "But this organization and every single one of you have come together and shown they are not going to hurt us."

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