50,000 at Pulse vigil: One Orlando, Orlando United

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Tens of thousands turned out Sunday for the vigil at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to honor the victims of the tragedy one week ago at Pulse nightclub.

An earlier Orlando Police estimate put the crowd at around 37,000. But Visit Orlando now estimates the crowd has grown to around the expected 50,000.

  • An estimated 50,000 at Lake Eola vigil
  • The Cathedral Church of St. Luke held prayer service before vigil

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and District 4 Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan attended the vigil.

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8:55 p.m.

As the vigil wraps up, everyone cheers "One Orlando, Orlando United."

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as the crowd goes home.

8:50 p.m.

The Three Wise Guys — Rev. Bryan Fulwider, Imam Mohammed Musri and Rabbi David Kay — offer up messages of faith and support.

After some closing messages from the vigil organizers, local leaders are coming back on the stage to begin the reading of the names of the victims.

8:35 p.m.

The workers and owners of Pulse take the stage and cheers from the crowd. "Now, with the whole world watching, this is our time to show the world that love will conquer hate."

8:30 p.m.

As a singing begins to sing "Rise Up," candles are lit around Lake Eola.

8:25 p.m.

Diana Bolivar with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, spoke first in Spanish to the Latino community, who was particularly affected in the attack.

"Who the heck are we to judge?" Bolivar said. "I am a sinner."

A family for one of the survivors, who is still in the hospital, comes up on stage to applause from the crowd. The family is from Colombia. Bolivar has been tasked with helping families coming in from other countries who do not speak English.

A Hispanic vigil will be held Friday at 6 p.m. at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.

8:20 p.m.

Visit Orlando, the tourism agency for the city, now estimates the crowd at the Orlando United vigil has reached the estimated 50,000 expected at Lake Eola.

7:50 p.m.

Commissioner Patty Sheehan takes the stage in tears at the overwhelming response from the community. "I love you, Orlando," she says.

Sheehan thanked LGBT advocates and allies, and pledged to fight against hatred in all forms.

"Hating a Muslim person is the same as hating a gay person," she said.

7:40 p.m.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said it’s time to find a human solution to the problems of our community. "Pulse 2016 was the moment in time when hearts were opened & minds were changed forever. This is the moment love will prevail," Jacobs said.

"We cannot let 49 of our brothers and sisters die in vain."

7:35 p.m.

The vigil has begun in downtown Orlando. Vigil organizer Chelsea Frost said, "We’re here to lift you up and share our support."

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is the first among local leaders to speak, thanking the crowd and first responders. "We will not be defined by the hate-filled act of a deranged killer."

Dyer also told survivors and the families of the victims that the community would continue to stand by them and support them.

7:30 p.m.

The memorial service at Cathedral Church of  Saint Luke is wrapping up. The vigil at Lake Eola should begin shortly.

7 p.m.

As the candle lighting ceremony continues at Cathedral Church of St. Luke, outside some 37,000 people have showed up so far at Lake Eola for tonight’s vigil, per Orlando Police Dept.

6:40 p.m.

At Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, where a memorial has grown for the victims and survivors, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer have laid a wreath, ahead of Sunday’s vigil at Lake Eola. Both are expected to attend the vigil.

6:35 p.m.

At Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, speakers have begun reading the names of the 49 victims of the Pulse attack. After that there will be a candle ceremony.

6:30 p.m.

Equality Florida has raised nearly $ 6 million for the victims’ families and survivors, almost entirely through a GoFundMe account.

Equality Florida says it is working with the National Center for Victims of Crime to expedite the process of fund disbursement. The NCVC will verify identities, their expenses, and process payments. Equality Florida wants to make this effort as transparent as possible, and they’ve posted a page to explain how that will be done.

"It is our top priority to ensure we address the unique needs of the LGBTQ and Latino/a communities impacted from the Pulse Nightclub Shooting," the group said in a statement released Sunday.

6:20 p.m.

City of Orlando has called a special city council meeting for Monday at 2 p.m. This will be a brief meeting in lieu of the June 13 meeting, which was canceled in the wake of the Pulse shooting.

6:10 p.m.

A memorial service has begun at Cathedral Church of St. Luke in downtown Orlando in honor of all those affected by the Pulse attack.

Priests are offering to counsel and pray with those who need it. Bishop Greg Brewer is presiding, and Orlando Commissioner Robert Stuart is speaking.

The mourners will then walk hand-in-hand to Lake Eola for the vigil.

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More than 50,000 people on Facebook have said they’ll attend or are interested in attending the Lake Eola vigil. Officials say there will be heightened security for the event.

Organizers of the Lake Eola vigil are encouraged to bring their own candles. Signs are welcome, but organizers say those signs need to have messages of peace, love and unity, not anything political.

All streets surrounding Lake Eola are shut down from 2 to 9:30 p.m. SunRail will run this evening for those who wish to attend the vigil. LYNX bus service is also providing some complimentary options.

Before the vigil, The Cathedral Church of St. Luke in downtown Orlando will hold a prayer service. Several priests will be at the church to offer counseling to those who need it. The several hundred people at the service are expected to then walk, with candles in hand, to Lake Eola.

“To live through an evil event like this that targeted a particular group in our community, it’s devastating,” said Rev. Canon Josh Bales of The Cathedral Church of St. Luke.

News 13 and Bay News 9 will bring you live coverage starting at 5:45 p.m. for the prayer service, followed by the Lake Eola vigil.

If you’re away from your TV, we’ll be streaming live on MyNews13.com and BayNews9.com to all, without a Bright House subscription, until the end of the vigil. You also can watch on your mobile device with the BHTV app.

Bay News 9 – local-news

June 19, 2016 |

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