SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. - (KNEP) A candlelight vigil in the Panhandle drew a large crowd Wednesday night, to remember those who died in the Orlando terror attacks and express support for the LGBT community.
"This is absolutely amazing... We are here to remember those who were lost,” said speaker Michelle Bruce. Several hundred area residents gathered this evening in downtown Scottsbluff to remember the victims of last week's attack in Florida.
All ages were present at the city park at 18th and Broadway, expressing support through song and lit candles not only for those who died but also for local LGBT community members.
Vigil organizer Fernando Salazar expressed pride in the community that he didn't know existed this past weekend when he found out he lost a good friend. "When I woke up Sunday morning and found out he was one of the ones killed, it just really hurt,” said Salazar, “And so, I really didn't have anyone to talk to, I mean I didn't think I had anyone to talk to but it turns out we do have people to talk to, we do have a community that's very strong."
Other speakers called the Orlando shootings an attack of hate perpetrated by a madman aimed at the LGBT community.
Following the candle lighting, those in attendance walked six blocks around the downtown area in a show of solidarity. There were occasional honks from cars passing by. The vigil lasted about an hour, ending at sunset.
A second vigil being put together by other organizers is scheduled to take place Sunday, June 19 at 8:30 p.m. at Centennial Park in Scottsbluff.