Vigil remembers Orlando nightclub shooting victims, victims of hate

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Across the nation Tuesday, people remembered the 49 victims of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting.

And, in Chattanooga, a group stood in front of the city council chambers for reflection.

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“There’s moments in your life where you’re changed forever, and that was one of them,” Ginger Moss said.

People lit candles in remembrance.

“There’s a member of our community who’s been a longtime member of our board who was actually a bartender there at one point, and so, we have a tight and close connection to that incident here in our own community, but more broadly the effect that, that had on our community as a whole around the country felt very personal,” Samantha Boucher said.

Several folks shared stories and made comments including city leaders, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Burke, Council Member Carol Berz, and Police Chief David Roddy.

People in the crowd were also able to step forward and share the names and stories of friends and family who were victims of hate, discrimination, and suicide.

Then there was one drumbeat for each person mentioned.

Moss, who helped organize the event, added that the vigil was also about what can be done locally to make changes that protect the LGBTQ community.

“We all love Chattanooga and we want to be able to be safe. We want to be free from discrimination in the work place, for housing, all of those things, and working with the city is going to help us do that,” Moss said.