“Our pulse is strong” read one of the signs created for a candlelight vigil at the Vancouver Art Gallery Sunday night.
Hours earlier, a gunman stormed a gay nightclub called the Pulse in Orlando, Florida, killing 50 people and injuring another 53.
When Alan Jernigan woke up in Kelowna to a phone call Sunday morning, he immediately jumped in his car.
Still learning the details of a mass shooting in Orlando, the president of Pride Vancouver was one of many people cutting weekend events short to make it in time to organize the vigil in Vancouver.
“I think the best thing we can do for the community is give people opportunities to come together to celebrate the community and not to mourn, but I think today it’s just about giving everybody the chance to be together,” Jernigan says.
Six people stood on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, each holding a flag representing one of the colours of the rainbow flag. On other steps, the names of some of the victims with their own rainbow flags.
Others stood facing the gallery, holding white candles covered in red cones.
“I think it’s really important to show solidarity and unity. An attack like this threatens to pull people apart, but we need to show people we are together, ” said a man in the crowd.