Four days after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, more than a hundred South Florida residents joined forces at a vigil and rally to honor the 49 victims of the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The gathering began at Hagen Park before the crowd walked down Wilton Drive to end at Java Boys. The crowd was made up of men, women, gay, straight, blacks, whites and Latinos of all ages. They sang, chanted and called for justice and unity.

 “As part of the LGBT community and as a Latino, I feel it’s my responsibility to show solidarity,” said Michael Reyes of Coral Springs. “There are LGBT Muslims as well. I am here to support this intersectional gathering.”

Groups ranging from the Broward Greens to Al-Awda South Florida (Palestine Right to Return Coalition) to People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism (POWIR) were among the array of activists in attendance. Organizers planned the event to be equal parts vigil and rally. Attendees were adamant that the Orlando massacre not be used to justify further violence and hatred against LGBT people or used to propagate more anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“I don’t believe all Muslims are terrorists,” said Sir Diego of North Miami Beach. “Everyone, including Muslims need to stand up and speak out against this senseless violence.”

The shooting victims and their families were also remembered during a candlelight vigil. Most of the victims were LGBT and Latin. The shock and horror of the shooting and the heartbreaking loss were on everyone’s agenda.

“I’m here, first and foremost, to memorialize those whom we’ve lost to honor their memory,” said Father Rich Vitale of Holy Angels Catholic Community. “I’m also here to be a part of my community and show support for those who are mourning. If I’m in any way, capable of being part of that healing process, that’s a blessing. And I’m here for myself too, to experience the support of my community.”

While some people came for healing, others came to be heard. Politics were in the air as well.

“I represent an organization which has supported gay rights for more than 30 years,” said Jason Dilan of the Green Party of Broward County. “We’re completely devastated by this tragedy. I am a bisexual Latino. I’m here to speak from my personal experience. As an organization, we really feel that we needed to be here.”

Michael Chase Fox, of the White Rose Society of the Palm Beaches made his way through the crowd spreading the word of his organization.

“Our goal is to fight the ever-growing word of hate,” he said. “That includes the campaign of Donald Trump to the anti-immigrant groups attacking those fleeing tyranny. We plan to visit mosques in Broward and Palm Beach Counties this week. We understand the Orlando shooter does not represent Islam.”

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