NORWALK, Conn. -- Hundreds of people gathered in Norwalk to remember the 49 people murdered in a gay nightclub in Orlando by a man claiming allegiance to ISIS.
The tragedy hit home for Alex Eliot, a board member of the Norwalk-based Triangle Community Center.
"It was devastating," Eliot said. "We have had a lot of shootings in this country and each one is devastating. Like Newtown, which hit me personally because I live in Connecticut and I used to be a teacher, this hit me personally because I'm in the LGBTQ community."
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling drew cheers at the vigil when he praised U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., for his nearly 15-hour filibuster in the U.S. Senate to force a vote on gun control amendments.
"I want to give a shout out to Chris Murphy - 15 hours and finally the message was received," Rilling said.
AS the speeches were going on, Ace Ricker of Shelton was walking through the crowd, handing out candles.
"In this tragedy, which is so dark, a lot of individuals turn to hatred and violence and it doesn't get anywhere," he said. "Being here is a statement that you are not alone."
State SenATE Majority Leader Bob Duff made an impassioned plea for gun control.
"It is time to disarm hate and ban gun violence," he thundered.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., could not attend but sent messages of support.
Inni Kaur Dhingra urged the audience to reach out to others who are different from them.
"Every drop of love counts. Every act of compassion counts,'' she said. "So reach out, touch another being of a different color, of a different faith, of a different sexual orientation.''
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