GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) On the one year anniversary of the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead, local members of the community gathered together for a remembrance of those lost in the attack, and to talk openly about the challenges and successes LGBTQ people face everyday.
It was a packed house Monday evening at Crave on Evans St. in Uptown Greenville as a range of community members gathered together with a common goal in mind.
Aaron Lucier, Speaker, ECU LGBT Advisor said, "Communities need this to heal and that healing takes a long time and for some members the healing isn't finished or isn't even close to being finished. So we need to have these events to keep that healing going."
A video remembering the lives and stories of those lost in Orlando played at the beginning of the event. A moment of silence was held and free T-Shirts and wristbands that read "Love Is Love" and "We Are Orlando," were handed out.
The motive for it all was simple according to those in attendance. "Just to be here to be supportive and to support one another and to show everyone else that we do exist and that we are important and are human too," said Sara Bordeaux.
Among those speaking at the event were a range of Community members, politicians and religious leaders, all there to pay their respects and to spread the message that the community at large stands behind them.
Still, for some, the night was overwhelming. Alan Skirnick said, "It's one of those things were I don't know how to process my feelings. Cause on one side I want to celebrate the fact that we're all here, and another side I'm deeply hurt still. There's still a scar there that's still healing so it's kind of a weird sensation that I don't know how to express."
Trying to end on a positive note the event concluded with music, dancing and drinks, in hopes that it would prove to the world that the LGBTQ community prevails.
The event was sponsored by the East Carolina University LGBT Resource Office, P-FLAG, and the Pitt County AIDS Service Organization.