Estimated 50,000 People Attend Vigil for Orlando Victims

IMAGE: Orlando vigil
Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil Sunday night at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, Florida, in honor of the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shootings.John Raoux / AP

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By Tim Stelloh

An estimated 50,000 people gathered for a candlelight vigil Sunday night to remember the 49 people killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, event organizers said.

Throngs of people packed onto the banks of Lake Eola, near downtown Orlando, holding signs with messages like "Love always conquers hate" and "Free hugs."

It was a staggering display of support punctuated by a moment of silence, a rainbow and tens of thousands of attendees, each holding his or her own lighted candle.

"Wow, Orlando," Mayor Buddy Dyer told the crowd, The Orlando Sentinel reported. "You're showing your love, your compassion, your unity."

Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil Sunday night in Orlando, Florida.AP

At one point, after the name of each victim was recited, the crowd chanted "We remember them!" The Associated Press reported. And when the rainbow appeared, according to NBC station WESH, the crowd lost it.