Candlelight vigil for Orlando victims in Iowa City - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Candlelight vigil for Orlando victims in Iowa City

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Iowans from the LGBT community and others from various religions and ethnic backgrounds gathered in Iowa City to hold a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

The names of each of the victims of the Orlando shooting were read to recognize the loss of 49 individuals, whose lives were taken for no clear reason.

"Standing in solidarity. We want to stand up and fight against that hate and violence. We also want to take time to honor those lives lost," said Avi Deol, an event organizer.

Hundreds of miles away, the massacre at an Orlando nightclub is impacting Iowans.

"It was a penetrating sadness and grief. Not disbelief, it can't be in this country because of all the gun violence," said Vicki Pedersen, a Lutheran Clergy.

For some the situation hits close to home.

"To know that it happened in a bar, a place where people actually go to seek safety. There aren't a lot of safe spaces for us to go and here in Iowa City we are lucky to have a few of those spaces. So even though some of us might not have been directly affected, we still feel that every day. It is absolutely an active revolution for us to just exist every day," said Deol.

But a pain many are determined to rise up from. "While others can challenge this, no one can take this from us," said one speaker during the ceremony.

The hundreds gathered for the candlelight vigil have a simple message, stop the violence and accept individuals for who they are. 

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