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."
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.