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Hundreds in SWFL honor Orlando victims at Vigil

Vigil was hosted by Pride SWFL
Posted at 11:45 PM, Jun 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-18 23:48:14-04

Hundreds gathered at Centennial Park in Fort Myers Saturday to honor the victim's of last week's deadly shooting in an Orlando nightclub. 

The horrific massacre was the deadliest shooting on U.S soil, targeting an LGBT club. 

"It's about love, it's not about anything else," said Arlene Goldberg,  Pride of SWFL Board of Directors,
 
Images of the 49 victims that were killed in the mass shooting were on display at the event; a grisly reminder of the death toll. 
 
"20 years ago that could've been me in the night club because I used to live in Orlando" said Pam Anderson.
 
Nearly a week after the massacre, emotions are still raw for many especially Chris Branlet.  He lost three friends. 
 
"It hurts me to even look at the bulletin board with everybody's picture on it and to see my three friend's picture," said Branlet. " It hurts me," he added. 
 
Branlet says it's a pain that will never go away, but seeing the large crowd of supporters at the vigil gives him hope. 
 
"I feel happy," said Branlet.
 
The Imam of the Islamic center for peace of Fort Myers, Mohamed Al-Darsani spoke at the event, along with Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki. 
 
The community leaders stressed the importance of coming together to spread peace and love in the wake of tragedy. It's something Branlet believes his friends would have wanted. 
 
"We all are still human beings. We live and we still bleed the same way as straight people and whoever else," said Branlet.