Dozens gather in Odessa to honor Orlando victims

Dozens gather in Odessa to honor Orlando victims

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The tragedy in Orlando continues to weigh heavy on the hearts of many people.

More locals are leading the way, honoring the victims.

Dozens gathered at Sherwood Park in Odessa to honor the victims in Orlando.

"I can't believe that in 2016 we still have to worry about that level of hate," said LGBT advocate, Jonathan Martinez.

Martinez said after hearing the news, he chose to put in the work to hold a vigil.

"The main thing that I take away from this is that regardless, don't be afraid. Go out to the bars, go out to your gatherings, travel, attend pride events. Don't be afraid," said Martinez.

Martinez approached Father Rick Lopez to help with prayer for the vigil.

"We are beloved children of God. We are beloved, and there's nothing to fear. You are beautiful you are loved and that's something to be treasured," said Fr. Rick.

Karen Howard-Winters took the microphone during the vigil and talked about how the amount of support after the shooting has reminded her how proud she is to be American.

"They set aside their prejudices, they set aside their feelings, just to give blood," said Winters.

Karen Claiborn also spoke during the vigil. remembering the time she spent working at a gay club in Odessa.

"Not believing how bad the hated has gotten and thinking about how I would have felt if this would have happened at Mrs. Lilly's when I worked there," said Claiborn.

Many were surprised of the positive reaction and support the local community has given after the Orlando massacre. The event organizer said he will continue to look for ways to support.

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