Many Americans, but perhaps Latino and LGBTQ communities in particular, are still mourning the victims of last week’s Orlando shooting. When a gunman opened fire at a gay club on Latin night early last Sunday, he killed 49 gay and Latino people and wounded 53 more. Today, the Florida city is honoring these people with the #OrlandoStrong March at Lake Eola, a downtown park.
On the Facebook event page, organizers R. Beatriz Jimenez–Green and Alysha Aponte write that this event is meant to bring Orlandoans together. They add, “We are here, we are unified, and though the massacre of June 12, 2016 will live in our hearts forever, we will prevail and we will come back stronger. Let’s show our strength and March at Lake Eola.”
The march is just one of many local events paying tribute to the shooting victims this weekend. Funerals for the victims have started taking place, while benefits and vigils are going on across the city. But the #OrlandoStrong March may be the best-attended item on the agenda. As of 2 p.m. EST today, more than 5,000 people were invited to the #OrlandoStrong March on Facebook. Nearly 5,000 said they were “interested” and 1,800 said they were going. Nearly 200 comments have been posted to the Facebook event page.
Though the march won’t take place at 7 p.m. EST tonight, the social media frenzy has already begun. Here are tweets showing just how excited and emotional Orlandoans are about fighting off members of the hate group Westboro Baptist Church and uniting for Orlando shooting events this weekend: