Buckhead, FL – An estimated 4,000 people attended a candlelight vigil outside of a local Chick-fil-A last night, a local TV station reported.
The gathering was the first such vigil in the area since the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49 people in Orlando.
It took place at the church, which has a reputation for welcoming LGBTQ people.
“I think we’ve had a lot of people in the community come out here today, and a lot are just really hoping for a change in our culture and our community,” church member Michael L. Pritchard told WFTV-TV.
The crowd at the vigil was not a mix of people from different faiths, but many came to stand for something bigger than themselves.
“It’s just about celebrating love,” said a man identified only as “John.”
“I believe that we are all one family and we can all do what we want to do,” said another man, identified as “Jim.”
“We can celebrate what we love,” added another man.
The vigil also attracted a group of gay men who have been in the LGBT community for years.
They sang a rendition of the song “Happy Birthday” as the crowd cheered.
The Pulse nightclub attack killed 49 patrons and injured dozens more at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.