DENVER — Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, Florida.
They say it must never be forgotten to keep it from happening again. A gunman opened fire inside the club, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others.
The rampage became the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11. The gunman pledged allegiance to ISIS before being killed by police.
The anniversary brought out tens of thousands at Unity and Pride marches across the country Sunday.
Hundreds took part in Denver’s Cheesman Park, where a 16-year-old girl identifying as LGBTQ read the names of the victims over a loudspeaker.
“Leroy Valentine Fernandez 25 years old.”
— David Young (@DaveYoungTV) June 11, 2017
Emotions were still raw one year later and 1,800 miles away.
Many wiped away tears during the reading.
“We lost 49 really beautiful young people in that shooting,” participant Carlton Rexroad said. “We’re here to remember them and to say that we won’t stand for that kind of violence and that we’re here together.”
Together in Cheesman Park, advocates called for unity in a once-segregated Denver city cemetery.
“We are here to show who Colorado really is and we are a rainbow of people,” said State Rep. Leslie Herod, who represents Colorado’s eighth district from Denver.
Herod said she’s the first African-American LGBTQ woman to serve in the legislature.
“The Trump administration has led the charge to make communities feel like they’re no longer included,” said Herod.
Marchers demanded equality for LGBTQ and all communities. Many said the reason they showed up was because of the “pervasive environment of hate speech.”
There were more than 90 LGBTQ marches nationwide across the country Sunday.